Magic and Mysticism: Voladores de Papantla on the Puerto Vallarta Malecón
By Betsua Salazar
Translated by Nyima Bieber
The magic of Puerto Vallarta lies in its people, its beaches and its traditional foods. A walk along the malecón can be defined as an encounter with many cultural expressions that give you a taste of Mexico’s true culture and essence. A clear example is the Voladores de Papantla.
In the sea breeze and warm rays of sun, the Voladores de Papantla on Puerto Vallarta’s malecón will show you one of the most representative indigenous spiritual rituals. Five dancers take part in the ritual, of which four will come flying down around a pole; supported only by a rope tied around their waists. The fifth remains at the top of the pole, playing a flute and small drum and setting the pace of this flying dance.
The sound of the waves, the wind and the sounds of the flute and the tambourine transport you to a magical, ancient place –it is an experience that cannot to be missed when visiting Puerto Vallarta.
The meaning of the dance performed by the Voladores de Papantla on the malecón in Puerto Vallarta is primarily religious, as it was a ritual dedicated to rain and soil fertility. The four cardinal points are represented by the flyers; they fall the way the rain falls, breaking the air above the earth. When crossing the sky, the dancers become birds that offer their services to the sun god Tlaloc. Their clothing consists of bright colors and shapes that embody the mysticism of this mythical practice.
The Voladores de Papantla on the malecón in Puerto Vallarta are one of the region’s unforgettable experiences that enrich the spirit and show us how great the Mexican culture is. Live and learn more by visiting this beautiful destination.
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