The Charreada is a popular and well known sport in Mexico, with strict rules and many competitions where men and women compete in colorful charro costumes adorned with silver studs. The competition consists of riders showing off their lasso skills and making their horses dance to a live mariachi band, while vendors pass by selling drinks and snacks.
However, apart from the party and the pleasure of admiring the sport, there is also a joke. That is why it is considered a national sport par excellence since it was registered with the National Sports Commission. It is performed in "Lienzos Charros" which are facilities specially designed for its practice along with a horse and a rider called "charro".
To participate, riders must wear traditional charro clothing. It is worth mentioning that the characteristic of a charro or horseman is his traditional clothing with iconic wide-brimmed hats such as the Andaluz, "De piloncillo" and 4 Pedradas; chaps, one-piece charro booty, piteados, openwork or chiseled belts and the pachuqueña.
There are 3 types of costumes, each one with its own characteristics.
The most basic of them all is the traje de media gala, which consists of a felt hat adorned with silver buttons, as well as a shirt with an upturned collar at the top. For the lower part it is highlighted by a pair of trousers with suede trimmings on the sides. It is complemented with a suede or cashmere jacket with three loops on each sleeve and a luxurious brooch on the chest, not forgetting the tie.
The next suit is the gala suit, which can vary in 3 colors: gray, dark blue or black. Including suede, hat and silver buttons from the waist to the ankle, discreet ornaments.
The last one is the grand gala suit, which varies between black and gray, with fine buttons, gray or white felt hat, vest with small buttons that match the outside buttons, belt with silver buckle, preferably plain or embroidered in silver, and black boots.
Women also participate in this sport, called "escaramuzas" and consists of women riding horses to perform spectacular suertes such as the fan, the coladera, the ladder and the flower, among many others. The costume is of "Adelita" which are colorful dresses with large ruffles and wearing the classic charro hat.
One of the most feminine outfits in the world of charreria. It consists of a blouse and a skirt that, being able to be joined or separated, are decorated with pleats and frills. It must have a minimum of 10 centimetres of frill sewn to the lower part of the skirt. Another essential accessory of this trousseau is the sash, which must be attached to the waist and have a butterfly bow and bands. The length of the dress should be long enough to reach the middle of a jalisco style boot. The adelita should have a bun in the hair that together with the shawl give it that classic Mexican touch. Finally, everything must be complemented with a palm or soyate hat.
It can be worn in two versions, with a cotton or cashmere shirt. In both cases the color should be neutral or preferably pastel. The important thing about this attire is that under no circumstances are metallic buttons allowed. The other elements that make up the attire of the charra de faena are the jacket, skirt or trousers, boots, belt, hair bun, a pair of discreet earrings and a hat similar to that of the adelita.
The last costume we will talk about is one of the most popular ones that, although it sounds strange, should not be used in skirmish competitions. Nevertheless, it is perfect for social events, presentations, parades and escorts. A China Poblana outfit consists of a white blouse slightly low-cut, short-sleeved and embroidered with silk threads or beads; a tricolor zagalejo, green or red silk slippers, and a shawl. The hairstyle of the china poblana must have two braids fastened with long ribbons of the same colors as the zagalejo. Finally, the accessories of the chinas can be gold, coral or papelillo necklaces, gold bracelets and bracelets that match each other.
Charreria is a very important element in the identity of Mexican culture and is a tradition that must be cared for and cultivated.