Flying out the United States a couple weeks ago, Copa Airline’s in-flight magazine contained an article about colorful Christmas observances around the world. Rockefeller Center’s tree was there. The 37 million (yes, million) lights in Medellin.
And Cuenca’s Pase del Niño – the “passing of the child” Jesus, a Christmas Eve parade that dates back 500 years and draws most of the city population to its streets.
The occasion is the procession of a 200-year-old baby Jesus icon from one end of the old city to the other. Having now spent the day among them, we can confirm plenty of angels, holy families and wise men turn out for the happening, but they aren’t the half of it. Joining the Marys (many pregnant) and Josephs are cowboys, clowns and indigenous gods, dancers and prancers and drummers, every child, woman and man reveling in a day of tradition, family and fun.
Doris could spend thousands of words describing the masses that followed the 1823 niño Jesus icon down Simon Bolívar Street, alongside the plaza and all the way to San Blas Church. Or we could just bet that Louis’s photos are worth far more. Since the man took more shots than he is willing to admit, Partout is going with the photos.
Thus, without further ado (or many more words), merry Christmas or whatever holiday you may be observing (or not) and bring on the parade.
The Sacred and the Masked
Music and Dance and Showers of Flowers
Paraders and Watchers
Color, Color and More Color
With that, until next time, and may everyone’s day be as happy and bright as Cuenca’s.
From the Partout Toolbox: Searching local blogs and online news, Wikipedia articles and other sources for topics like “Christmas parades around the world” helps us find events, festivals and other local spectacles we otherwise might miss. That’s how we know that a week from now, Cuenca will turn out for the ritual burning of monigotes to see out the old year. We’ll be there.
COMING SOON! Living Out of Suitcases
Related link: “Cuenca’s Biggest Parade of the Year Combines the Sacred and Profane” from the local expat newspaper