… to schedule our visit during a presidential election, AND Carnaval, AND a revisitation of La Fiesta de los Santos Inocentes. (Needless to say, we didn’t plan it at all.) It makes for a lively visit, though.
The election demonstrations have been ubiquitous, as have been the cars touring the city streets broadcasting their enthusiasm, as have been the banners flapping from every corner.
The Mardis Gras season had already launched back in New Orleans when we were there weeks ago (or maybe it’s always Mardi Gras season in New Orleans… dunno), but by now, here, it’s kicked into high gear:
And finally, there’s been the extensively celebrated, if somewhat mystifyingly timed, Fiesta de los Santos Inocentes, which commemorates King Herod’s massacre of the innocents. Evidently it is celebrated in many Latin cities… but most others celebrate it on December 28, or sometimes January 6; and evidently in other places where it’s celebrated, the focus of the celebrations is.. you know, children.
Here, the focus is clowns (??).
Shaving cream vendors are ubiquitous — little portable carts set up on every street corner. We have learned that no one will spray you, unless you’re visibly carrying a can of it, in which case you’re fair game. (Guess which member of the family felt moved to test this.)
I wasn’t able to ascertain the theological, or traditional, connection to clowns, or why Cuenca marks the festival on a different day than the rest of the Latin world. (One of the teachers at our school said something about how the story of the massacre of the innocents was particularly resonant to the indigenous people in this area because of their own experiences in the conquistador era, and that an existing pre-Columbian festival was merged into it… but I’ve found absolutely nothing elsewhere to corroborate this.)
In any event… have to sign off now and get some more shaving cream.