El Pase del Niño Viajero (or "the passage of the travelling child") is an epic parade (at least in Cuenca), that takes place on December 24th. Its planning takes months, or so we're told and the result can only be described similar to trying to herd cats, and I honestly mean that in a good way. In the end, it is the perfect reflection of Ecuadorian life.
|Ecuadorian crowd control...use scarves...and dance while doing it!|
|One of multiple "Virgins", "Josephs" and "Magi"|
Occasionally, they would throw in Santa for good measure.
|Dig the dollar store dusters as helmet plumes!|
|Facial hair sucks, Mom!|
|Groove to the music.|
|The shades make the outfit.|
|Who knew you played accordions in heaven?|
|Musicians or mafia...you decide|
|This float actually had good visibility through its windshield|
|Indigenous costumes that are familiar around Cuenca's streets|
|Completely pooped...but still adorable|
|"Are we there yet?"|
|Food laden floats|
|Living Nativity Scene|
|Okay, this is the FRONT of the car.|
|You can just make out the liquor bottles that adorned floats that also held small unaccompanied children|
|One of the many icons carried in the parade|
|These poor guys had fur covered chaps! Muy Calor!|
|The kids here are beautiful|
|This was 1 of 3 photos I took as the band past...it was huge!|
|You've seen it before, but it's worthy of another look...nothing delays progess.|
|The parade isn't just to show off your cute kids...why not get dressed up, too?|
|One of the fancier floats, you can see more coming up behind|
|So colourful...so hot!|
|Rudolph, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus - on bikes...couldn't resist.|
I couldn't get a picture of any of the floats that were throwing bags of candy to the crowds. They were swarmed as soon as people realized what they were up to. I'm not talking little bags of candy either, some were the size of soft balls and others were twice that size. I guess the only down side is that not everyone (especially the kids) gets sweets. It seemed to me that the taller you were the more likely you were to score a bag of goodies.
That was our first Pase del Nino Viajero, and we were light weights. I know a lot of people would have tried to see the whole thing, but between the sun, diesel fumes and basic hunger, we had to take a break in the middle.
We can't wait for the New Years festivity where the locals burn effigies of themselves (& others) to cast off the unwanted things from the prior year and start the new year fresh. I'm sure the fire department here, can't wait.