Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Feliz Navidad

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Yeah, I know, it's almost February. WEll I was going through footage I took just after Christmas and I couldn't resist uploading this Dancing Singing Santa doll. Let me be the first to say Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bull Riding, Equipulas Fiesta, Chilil, Chiapas

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Last Sunday was the feast day of Esquipulas and we went to Chilil to see their fiesta. I've known a family of albaniles (masons) from Chilil for about 8 years now, but have never visited their village. It's a small village about half an hour from San Cristobal. I figured it was a small village and the festival probably wasn't that interesting
Well, I was wrong. It's a religious feast and there was a wonderful procession where the village elders got in a pickup truck with the Esquipulas cross (Esquipulas is a town in Guatemala where a burning cross miraculuosly fell from the sky in colonial times) and they drove slowly around the village as a large crowd followed them.
After the procession the elders sat at a table outside of the church and drank pox, a cane liquor used in the highlands. There was traditional flute and drum  music (pre-hispanic in origin), a German style brass band and a modern rock band, all playing at the same time. A very intense basketball tournament and a soccer tournament were also going on.
But we came to see the bull riding. There's a big corral in town and they brought in one bull at a time to be riden. They tied him to the rail fence and then a large group of men pulled his tail so he couldn't kick and move. The rider mounted him and then they turned him loose. After the ride they would lasso him and them tie him to the fence again so the rider, who was pretty much tied to the bull, could get off.
I met my friends and as it turned out a cousin of theirs was the first rider. Andres has been doing this for a few years and he did a good job. You'll also see Carmen, one of the brothers that I know, sitting on the fence and then entering the ring with a cape to get the bull to move. He's the one with the white shirt. 
We'll definately be going back to this fiesta again. 
The music is by the brass band that was at the fiesta. Sorry, I didn't get their name. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Guadalupe Fiesta: Rockets

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As part of the Guadalupe Fiesta in San Cristobal there is a Grand Quemada de Cuetes y Bombas (the great Burning of Rockets and Bombs). Once the 1000+ bombs have exploded (see previous post) the cueteros (rocket makers) gather on top of the hill beside the church of Guadalupe. About 15 men start launching home made rockets. Another 15 or so boys feed them the rockets. They fill the air with noise and smoke for over 15 minutes as the 1000+ rockets explode. I got some pretty close up views of this; so close that my lens was covered in soot and dust by the end


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As part of the Guadalupe Fisesta in San Cristobal there is a Grand Quemada de Cuetes y Bombas (Greta Burning of Rockets and Bombs). The same family has been putting on this exhibition for over 45 years.