celebrations in ajijic are festive. whether a carnival in town, a parade or celebration of a feast day, there is always music and color. evenings on the plaza are anticipated and the buzz of the community gathering is melodic. while mariachis assemble and don their fitted and tailored suits, families gather on benches to stake a spot for the evening. tubas and trumpets are warming up and coronas are kept icy cold in nearby buckets. multiple generations are all gathered together in expectation of music, gossip and laughter. the plaza is the village’s outdoor living room, where the town congregates to greet neighbors and share stories. sultry teenagers exist on the perimeter, primping and taking selfies. the air is fragrant with the smell of chicharones and churros. couples, young and old, will dance on the mosaic walkways around the historic gazebo. street dogs make the circuit, traveling in small packs, looking for scraps and attention. but the children are having the best time. they are seeking out the most colorful cascarones, which are sold in clear plastic bags by local vendors. parents are begged for pesos, so the kids can purchase the brightly colored egg shells which have been emptied, cleaned, dried and then painted. the eggs are filled with confetti and then sealed with a piece of tissue paper. and the fun begins. children chase each other, darting through the dense crowd, between friends and neighbors, and cracking eggs over each other’s heads. confetti bursts from the shells, spilling bits of color everywhere. sharp barber shop fades, perfectly-coiled ringlets and intricately-patterned long braids become adorned with glittery bits of pastel paper. their dark eyes trimmed with fabulous lashes twinkle as they feign surprise upon being christened. shrieks of laughter ensue and then the chase continues. parents and abuelas watch from a distance, keeping an eye on the little ones. after many hours of music and pageantry the children begin to tire. families eventually disperse, leaving the all-night revelry to the young people. it is guaranteed that distinctive banda music will be heard until wee hours throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. initially the polka-like back beat and repetitive compositions would keep me awake, but now they lull me to sleep like a brusque mexican lullaby. margarita-fueled late nights on the plaza are often followed by my need for strong coffee and a warm plate of chilaquiles. a quiet, morning walk through town in search of nourishment will reveal a patchwork of confetti and broken egg shells, dappling the cobble-stoned streets with bits of color. remnants of a proper celebration in our charming little town.