Friday, December 4, 2009

Viva Quito!

Cathedral- Centro Historico

San Francisco de Quito

More celebration. Maya played half a day at school and was sent home at 11:00. Many schools were closed for the day. I had been told by my Spanish teacher that her son would be in a parade in the Centro Historico in his 'banda de guerra' (each school has a marching band that participates in such events), but when I got to the Centro Historico, there was a huge parade of school children from elementary to high school age, and I was unable to recognize him amongst the sea of faces. There were large bands playing traditional Quiteño music along with dancers in costumes from Otavalo and from Pichincha, as well as young people dressed in Spanish attire from the 1800's, dancing too. Clowns, devils, priests, men in top hats, children in all sorts of costumes, men on stilts, characters with huge heads, all sorts of colourful participants marched with much enthusiasm and applause. The old town was packed with people, either participating in or watching the parade.

Parade at the Carandolet

Men on Stilts
Girls and Xylophones
Serious About the Parade
Dancing Girls

More Dancing

Children in Costumes

Spanish Dances

Chivas (party buses) drove by regularly, with bands playing typical Quiteño music, which I can no longer get out of my head. I have heard the songs before, but now the music is constantly within earshot. People were drinking and blowing whistles and dancing on the chivas. They continued through the day and into the night. It appeared as if half the city were on chivas today!

Chiva Getting Ready

Parque Carolina was full of athletes playing soccer and equavolley and another game called 'pelota'. It is traditional on this occasion to have all sorts of sports competitions, as well as chess and card games. I visited my Spanish school and all the students were playing '40', a card game especially played at this time of fiesta.

Revelers at La Ronda

I dragged Eric and Maya to the Centro Historico for the evening. There were all sorts of music events around Plaza de Independencia and Plaza San Fransisco. We visited the Festival of Quiteño treats at the Archbishop's Palace, and Maya tried some candy. We visited La Ronda for more music and great food. The street was packed and music was loud and each restaurant competed for customers by offering music and 'canelazo'(a hot drink with cane sugar liquor and fruit juice, traditional for this time of year). Maya was falling asleep despite the loud noise and activity, so we headed home, passing chiva after chiva, and hearing music from every corner. The city was more alive than ever, and the party was just beginning. We will have more celebrations tomorrow!

Night Out With Maya

No comments:

Post a Comment