Images of El Cedrál, Cozumél, Mexico

folk dancing El Cedral
The movement, the colors, the alegría, of a local festival in El Cedrál.

The social focus of the El Cedrál Fiesta on Cozumél on this night was the simple folk dancing of the town's residents, and the showing off of their traditional finery. Most of the women of the town, and many of the men, dressed in their once-a-year best dresses and promenaded for a couple of hours to the accompaniment of a Mexican brass band.

El Cedral family portrait
Love a family portrait when they're all dressed up for the El Cedrál festival.

In between the cock fights, the crummy carnival rides, and the cheap food and trinket vendors, the annual fiesta in El Cedrál featured the folk dancing of the town's more traditional citizens. The women, in particular, were dressed in their finest embroidered and lacy dresses and sported colorful fragrant flowers in their hair.

El Cedral Cozumel ready for dance
Don't quite understand the hats/trays, but they're fun, no?

In general, the men were all in white, and carried trays on their heads with flag-festooned agricultural products–ranging from roast pig heads to delicious cinnamon buns. If you were nice, after the dance, they'd give you a bun. Kris got one which we split in the beer tent.

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El Cedral Cock Fight Mexico
Cock fighting was part of the El Cedrál festival, like it or not.

We'd read about the traditional dancing and music, and the bull fights at the El Cedrál Fiesta. But, we hadn't heard about the cock fights until we stumbled on the arena as we were on our way out of town. The one fight we stayed for was odd in that the cocks fought for half an hour, until the fight was declared a draw and both bloody birds were withdrawn to fight another day. I asked the owner of one of the birds if it happened often that the fight ended with both birds still alive. “Almost never,” he said.

You can read more about our week in Cozumél here.

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