Mexico Cooks!, as you've probably guessed, rarely turns down an opportunity to visit an artisans' fair. Although we had traveled to Uruapan for the mother of all artisans' fairs just a week before, out-of-town company meant a trip to nearby Pátzcuaro to shop at the fair set up in its Plaza Don Vasco de Quiroga.
The Pátzcuaro fair is smaller than the Domingo de Ramos Tianguis de Artesanía in Uruapan, but navigating through its booths is no less fun. The Michoacán arts and crafts in Pátzcuaro are similar to those in Uruapan, but many are more commercial and less expensive.
Catrines (fancy-dress skeleton figures of men and women) parade through a booth at the fair in Pátzcuaro. Several pirates maraud across the center of the photo, two chef figures in their tall white toques bring up the rear, and a woman models an 1890s-period dress at the far left.
During Semana Santa, Pátzcuaro honored Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (La Dolorosa)--Our Lady of Sorrows--with numerous altars set up around town. Monseñor Diego Monroy, rector of the Basílica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and a native of the Pátzcuaro region, designed this immense altar on Pátzcuaro's Plaza Don Vasco de Quiroga.
Mexico is a land of contrasts and contradictions. Semana Santa, which includes revelry and ritual, the Virgin and vacations, is simple evidence of Mexico's complexity.
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