Mules Day or The Thursday of Corpus is considered one of the oldest traditions of Catholicism in Mexico.
Today is a day to celebrate with family, dress up in traditional attire and go to church. In Mexico City, families meet at the Metropolitan Cathedral to get the blessings and commemorate Thursday of Corpus, which has been observed since 1526.
Like any other celebration in Mexico, Mules Day is a vibrant and colorful day where children are the main stars. They dress up in traditional indigenous attires and gather outside church recreating different times in history. They bring with them food, tools, and animals adding to the celebration a festive atmosphere. Every year, families take pictures of the children to add them to the family photo album.
Street food, street art, sugar candy vendors, balloons, old-style photographers, and all kinds of performers get together in the plaza around the Cathedral to complete this celebration.
Modern times in a modern city
Although this tradition has been alive for centuries, changes in life style, specially in Mexico City have certainly changed the way this celebration is held each year. Women now work full time and few can attend the celebration with their children. Still, grandmothers are the ones keeping alive Mules Day to honor their ancestors.
Mexico City is a big city and as such, laws have been put in place to avoid extreme disruption of traffic. Therefore, every year is more difficult for vendors and craftsmen to come to the city to participate. Still, some of them manage to sell their goods, including traditional handcrafts with mules made out of corn husks and painted in vibrant colors, just like Mexican folk art.