What’s a limpia? It’s an indigenous ritual, which is technically a shamanistic cleansing, done to supposedly to rid you of any evil spirits. And it’s not just for people in small towns or tourists… people who live here in Mexico City may be told by friends to go get a limpia if they are having continual bad luck, stress or sickness.
It’s an interesting part of this “city in tension.” These kinds of things are all mixed and mingled into the culture, and also into the church. In fact, an indigenous woman supposedly even brushed the Pope with a limpia when he visited back in 2002. That occurrence has since been debated among many Catholics, but it is an interesting insight into the often intermingled beliefs of Catholicism and indigenous religion that is especially unique in Mexico.
Here are some pictures of a more touristy limpia that I saw going on down in the Zocalo: