Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas is Coming

Raining in Quito

Being back in Quito is a little unsettling after our time in the wilderness. It is not quiet or restful, there is movement and activity all around. The city is getting ready for Christmas and celebrating the 'Fiestas de Quito', which is a weeklong extravaganza commemorating the founding of Quito by the Spanish on the sixth of December of 1534. The streets of Quito overflow with music and dancing and theatre and nonstop spectacles. The Plaza de Toros has bullfights daily with matadors from Spain and France and Mexico and of course Ecuador. The celebration is entirely a Spanish event, with Spanish dancing and food and focus. My plan was to go to the Centro Historico to find out the schedule of events and participate in some way, however somehow the day got away from me, and I accomplished very little.

I crawled into bed after getting Maya off to school. It was several hours later when I finally started moving. I had to restock the house so a Megamaxi run was in order, but I got entirely distracted by the Christmas store and decided that we needed to decorate for Christmas. Despite all the good reasons to get an artificial tree, I simply cannot have anything but a real one, so I will have to make inquiries about where to find one. I am told that none are available to buy, but I cannot imagine that to be true. I was entranced by all the Christmas decorations and was reminded of how much I love everything about Christmas. We will be returning to Florida and Baltimore for the holiday to see family and friends, but we have three weeks here until we go, so we will be participating in the Ecuadorian traditions.

Nearby Megamaxi Store

Until December 6, the city will be full of Fiesta de Quito activities, which of course we will take part in. I wanted to know more about what traditions are typical for the average Ecuadorian, so I learned from Pamela that for the nine days before Christmas, there is a nightly celebration about the birth of Jesus, and the family gets together and prays for Jesus and has a special meal. Christmas proper happens December 24. I have a Spanish class tomorrow and will ask Amparo more about her traditions. I remember her telling me that it is customary to have a nativity scene and that the little baby Jesus is blessed in the church on Christmas Eve.

Maya's Decorations

Maya started decorating her room when she came home yesterday and I added some more Christmas decorations today. We will have an Ecuadorian Christmas, and then have our traditional Christmas with family, so we will have a double celebration.

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