Christmas seems to come around faster and faster each year!!!
I've noticed, in the near-six years I've been here, the Christmas scene has changed significantly.
- When I first came here (WIFCH), there was only a tiny smattering of lighting in El Centro. But each year, the city has purchased and displayed more and more. Last year was the first time they strung blue wavy lights across the river from one bank to the other. This year, not only did they expand the length of that display, but they added (in lighted figurines) jumping fish, a boy with a fishing pole, indigenous women washing laundry in the river, frogs, and wabbits (silwy things!!).
- WIFCH, there were VERY few Christmas trees displayed anywhere other than malls. If you wanted to buy a fake one (which is all we have) they were horrifically expensive. This year, trees and ornaments were on sale everywhere. Some stores practically replaced their entire regular inventory with everything Christmas.
- It wasn't until last year that I spotted the first Santa display in Cuenca. A big air-filled guy dangling from the side of a building.
- WIFCH, it seemed everything Christmas was about the religious aspect, not the commercial. Well, this year reindeer, snowmen, and that guy Santa showed up.
- This year was the first time the city put up a tree in one of the church squares in El Centro.
- Sadly, nothing has changed from WIFCH in that Christmas starts popping up in stores waaaay back in September.
One of the traditions is the Pase del Nino Viajero (passage of the child traveler) parade on Christmas Eve day. Here's a bunch of shots I took this year. It's all about the chillen.
|It's common for horses to be decorated to the hilt by strings of candy, booze bottles, fruit, and whatever food items you can cram on there!|
|This guy was plucking candy from his own horse decorations (see below) and flinging them to his fans.|
|Roast pig and dead chickens are also a favorite horse decoration (along with grapes, candy, and jelly).|
|They typically draw little mustaches on the young boys.|