Mexico; Guest of Honor in the Traditional Flower Carpet of the Grand Place in Brussels
From August 16th to 19th, 2018, Mexico participated as a guest of honor in the traditional Flower Carpet of the Grand Place of Brussels, which is one of the most important and noticeable cultural and media events in Belgium.
In that year's edition, carpenters and foreign and Mexican experts, with the help of more than one hundred and fifty volunteers, upholstered the 1,800 square meters of the majestic Grand Place with about a million dahlias and begonias. The dimensions of the Flower Carpet were 75 meters long by 24 meters wide.
The slogan of the Flower Carpet was "Guanajuato, the cultural pride of Mexico, covers the main square of Brussels, the heart of Europe, with flowers." Craftspeople led the elaboration of the carpet from the municipality of Uriangato, Guanajuato. The design, made by the Mexican artist Ana Rosa Aguilar Aguado, included emblematic symbols, natural elements, and decorative figures of Guanajuato's traditional culture, which, like Brussels, has a rich tradition in this kind of art craft.
The inaugural ceremony, in which around 600 people participated, was led by Amb. Mauricio Escanero, Ambassador of Mexico to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Head of the Mission of Mexico to the European Union; Mr. Philippe Close, Mayor of Brussels; Mrs. Karine Lalieux, Councillor for Culture and Tourism of the city; and Mr. Carlos Guzman, Municipal President of Uriangato.
During the Mexican Carpet's inauguration, a show of sound and light held in the Grand Place, and its buildings were illuminated with Mexican music's rhythm, followed by a fireworks display and Mariachi's performance.
Mexico's presence in this event highlighted our country's critical role in the European Union's capital, particularly in the framework of the modernization process of the Mexico-European Union Global Agreement.
It also evidenced Mexico's art and traditions in Belgium, our country, and numerous other nations due to the coverage made by more than 150 media outlets, including the Mexican press. During the four days of the exhibition, more the 250,000 people visited the Flower Carpet.
The elaboration of a flower carpet at the Grand Place of Brussels takes place every two years since 1971. The participation of Mexico in 2018 was the first time a Latin American country participate as a guest of honor.
The Manneken Pis
The Manneken Pis, an emblematic sculpture of Brussels, has worn traditional Mexican outfits since 1953 in commemoration of our National Day celebration, and as a symbol of the friendship that unites the peoples of Mexico and Belgium.
The first traditional Mexican costume worn by the Manneken Pis was one of a "Charro." This statute currently has five traditional Mexican outfits: two of "Charro" (one black and one mustard-colored), one of "Volador de Papantla," one of "jaguar," and, since 2019, one from the indigenous "Wixárika" people.
In 2019 and 2020, the Manneken Pis wore a beautiful Wixárika costume made by Wixáritari artists whose art, culture, and worldview is one of Mexico's wonders and a real treasure world cultural heritage.
By having these costumes from different Mexico regions in the European Union's capital, we pay tribute to our country's richness and cultural diversity. We want to continue adding our best efforts to ensure that all people's identities are respected and fully projected into a better future.
Day of the Death
With the Embassy of Mexico's support, the Mexican community and friends of Mexico in Belgium, the "Day of the Death" is trendy in this country. Each year traditional Mexican altars are installed in various cultural spaces, such as the MAS Museum in Antwerp, the Bruegel Cultural Centre, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Cervantes Institute, and the Centre for Mexican Studies at the University of Antwerp, to name a few.
Since 2018, with this Embassy's support, a massive celebration and multidisciplinary parade about the "Day of the Dead" has been organized in the Brussels neighborhood "Les Marolles." It has brought together up to six thousand people. It counts with the participation of dozens of artists from several disciplines, among which dancers, musicians, acrobats, and troupes stand out, accompanied by "Catrinas," monumental structures, and portable altars. It is undoubtedly one of the most massive popular "Day of the Dead" celebrations in Europe.
Here you can see some photos and videos:
Video del Desfile de Día de Muertos 2018