When visiting this charming city, you shouldn't forget to participate in the traditional "Callejoneadas," a picturesque, folkloric event performed in the streets by local student bands. These traditional night parades have become a ritual and are performed between three to five times a week by different bands, always on weekends and holidays. Both tourists and locals enjoy these shows.
A Callejoneada could be called a "walking serenade". Groups of 10 or more students (these groups are known as "estudiantinas"), sing and stroll around the narrow streets of Guanajuato. The band sings popular songs and tells the people about the legends of Guanajuato. The members of the band are usually dressed in 17th-century Spanish costumes, consisting of white shirts, large pants and capes.
The "Estudiantinas" take different routes depending on the purpose of the Callejoneada, whether it is just for fun, for a celebration, or if it is being organized for visitors and tourists. The most common starting point is the Juarez Theater and some of the commonly visited places are the Hidalgo Marketplace and the Callejon del Beso (the Alley of the Kiss). In this alleyway, balconies are located one in front of the other, at a distance that allows a kiss. It is famous for a dramatic legend about secret lovers who used to meet on these balconies. The legend states that couples who kiss while standing on the third step of the staircase, under the balconies enjoy 15 years of happiness, but those who avoid or forget to do so have seven years bad luck.
The Callejoneada usually starts about 8:00 p.m. and lasts about an hour and a quarter. Special Callejoneadas are commonly organized for tourists and visitors and they normally include a ceramic flask filled with a local alcoholic beverage. You can sip from it during the stroll around the streets, while listening to the traditional songs. This charming cultural experience in Guanajuato will really help you get involved in the city and the culture. Joining a callejoneada will be a unique experience you'll never forget.