Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Burning the Castle?

Another new experience for me: celebrating "Las Fiestas" in Melaque. Every town, it seems, here in Mexico has a time when they celebrate. Four years ago when we came to El Grullo, we came during the Fiestas here. The first ten days are to celebrate the Catholic Church (mostly the Virgin María) and then the remaing ten (?) are to celebrate the town. This time we didn´t want to come during the Fiestas because we wanted the kids to go to school. There is no school held during the Fiestas.

When we were in Melaque (the town we stayed while at the beach) though, we caught some of their Fiestas. I don´t how I missed this when we were in El Grullo last time, but for the ten nights of the Church celebration, there is a "castillo"--castle that is burned at 10 pm in the town square. It is to honor María somehow. People who have experienced a great miracle or blessing, buy a castle (that doesn´t look like a castle--it looks more like a really tall stick full of fireworks) in honor of the Virgin and donate to the celebration. Each night the castle is more elaborate until the final night. I think we caught the 2nd night.

We forced our kids to stay up that late. (They were exhausted. It reminded me of when I woke everyone up from their nap our last day in Disneyland and insisted on going back and getting our money´s worth. The kids just wanted to sleep!)

The burning actually started late (what a surprise--here in Mexico!). The whole event was accompanied by a Mariachi band and another band.

Every few minutes fireworks from the castillo go off and sparks and actually sparklers fly into crowds of people. The people scream and laugh and run. Children run under the castillo, directly under the sparks, with cardboard slabs or boxes over their heads. Edgar did that as a child.

Edgar was talking amiably (I try to catch photos of him looking pleasant because his natural reaction to a camera is a frown) to a man from Ontario Canada. We encountered more English speakers than Spanish in that town. A lot of northerners winter there.

These aren´t friends of ours, or even acquaintances. They just were in the right place at the right time.

These are the kids running under the castillo as it burns.

I´m late to pick Ruben up from school. His teacher will have my hide!


Thelma said...

I'm sorry I couldn't talk to you more yesterday. I hope the bus ride was fabulous (as anticipated). I love you.

Deseret Johnson said...

What is Edgar smoking in that picture? This isn't Desi. She got her tonsils out today.