One of Cozumel’s most important religious festivals honouring San Miguel Arcángel, Patron Saint of the island, has begun in ernest this week and continues through Sept. 29 featuring colourful processions from the church of San Miguel to downtown, with lively food and craft fairs.Local residents attend Mass and take part in daily processions wearing typical Mayan outfits called “hipiles.” On the last day, a procession of fishermen carry an image of San Miguel Arcángel (Saint Michael) to the downtown pier and board a boat. The public accompanies them to throw flowers into the ocean. The last Mass at the Church of San Miguel that day is conducted by Father Jorge Bernal, Bishop of Chetumal.
Cozumel has honoured San Miguel Arcángel as its Patron Saint since 1848 when Father Rejón, a priest from Chemax, Yucatan, arrived to Cozumel with new inhabitants with an image of Saint Michael.
Prior to that in 1526, Francisco de Montejo, a representative of the King of Spain, was authorized to conquer and develop the island of Cozumel and gave it the Christian name of San Miguel de Cozumel.