- Title: MEXICO: Mexican mariachis celebrate their patron saint with street serenades
- Date: 23rd November 2010
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (NOVEMBER 22, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MARIACHI BAND PLAYING MARIACHI PLAYING BASE INSTRUMENT VARIOUS OF MARIACHIS PLAYING TRUMPET MORE OF MARIACHI BAND PLAYING STATUE OF SAINT CECILIA, PATRON SAINT OF THE MARIACHIS MORE OF MARIACHI BAND PLAYING MARIACHI LINDA VARGAS PLAYING VIOLIN ELDERLY SPECTATORS LOOKING ON
- Embargoed: 8th December 2010 12:00
- Location: Mexico, Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Reuters ID: LVA7LO3HCSR5HNVS05ZYS73MZU79
- Story Text: Mexican mariaches celebrated their national day on Monday (November 22) with a festival of music and serenades.
Clad in their traditional garb of cropped jackets and wide sombreros, the musicians gathered in one of the capital's main plazas where they gave a concert in honour of Saint Cecilia.
Mariachis originated in the 19th century in the southern state of Jalisco where they performed at festivals and weddings. Their instruments include guitars, violins and harp. Many modern day mariachi groups have eliminated the harp in favour of the trumpet.
One musician, Linda Vargas, told Reuters being a mariachi made her happy.
"Not everyone is one or has the talent (to be a mariachi). I don't have a lot of knowledge but when I work, when I'm at someone's home playing or at a saint, it's wonderful. It feels nice to meet new people, to take Mexican music to homes and to see the smiles, to see people happy, it's wonderful."
Another musician, Regulo Villanueva said he had always wanted to be a mariachi.
"To be a mariachis for me... As I told you, one has the opportunity to do what one enjoys doing. To play the music one likes and the fact tradition is passed on from childhood, it's in ones blood, traditions. When one heard mariachi music, one said: 'I want to play like that one day and to be on stage somewhere.' That's what it means for me."
The name "mariachi" came from French soldiers who arrived in Mexico in the 1800s and called the musicians "marriage", the French word for wedding.
For the last 30 years, Mexico City's mariachis have organized themselves on November 22 to honour their patron saint, Cecilia.
Resident, Maria Rodriguez, who likes to listen to mariachi music when she goes to church, said they lifted her spirits now that she's old.
"For us, it's the great attraction, the mariachis. Mariachis cheer us up one way or another. They lift our spirits with the music, now that we are old."
Following the concert in the Garibaldi, dozens of the mariachis marched in a procession to the Basilica of Guadalupe, where they ended their day with a range of national songs.
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