Wednesday, January 9, 2013


If you read Bo's recent post, he wrote, "Today’s oblation is called the Dia De Los Innocentes parade. City officials expect about 1,000 to participate in the parade with another 25,000 watching along the route.  Like many of Cuenca’s festivals, the Day of the Innocents was originally a religious celebration that, over the years, took on the trappings of carnival. The event is intended as a remembrance of King Herod’s death sentence ordered for all Israeli new-born boys after the birth of Christ. The event is celebrated throughout Latin American. Cuenca's version is reportedly the largest in Ecuador and includes a competition for the best costumes and skits, many with satirical, political and social commentary themes. The event is notable for the army of boys and young men parading in women’s clothes although it also includes women dressed as men and a wide variety of devils, clowns and historic and fictional characters.  You won’t want to miss this one!  I'll see if I can get Linda to take some pictures and send them along in our next blog post.  Til then, be happy!!  Life is short and so are Ecuadorians!!"

Well, as Bo sort of promised, I'm posting photos of this most bizarre parade (fiesta)!  First of all, when we left our apartment and walked towards the route of this supposedly "religious theme" parade - we suddenly were walking alongside another religious parade.  I'm not sure what the theme of this parade was, but it was small and somber in music and costume compared to the one we would soon approach.  The smell of "Catholic" incense and the adorned floats and costumed people seemed to express some sort of Catholic religious theme for their reason to march down the streets of Cuenca.
We followed along the narrow sidewalks as latin music blared for the walking paraders, religious floats, adorned children mounted on horsed, and colorfully costumed dancers.  The smell of this Ecuadorian women's "Catholic" incense permeated throughout the streets.
Colorfully clad dancers capture the viewers' attention!
Beautifully adorned children on horseback enjoy their time to shine in this small religious fiesta.

Many parents march in the fiestas with their young ones adorned and in arm.

"El Gigante Gringo" marches on the cobbled streets alongside the paraders.  (Yes, he's standing on the sidewalk, but he's still a giant compared to these diminutive Cuencanos.)
We walked alongside this parade for awhile and soon found ourselves on the main street of spectators waiting for the 4 pm "Dia De Los Innocentes" event to begin.  Well, it never did, for a long long time!  I had more fun photographing the passersby who seemed to be walking towards the parade then I did the actual event.  Why?  The event never began until about two hours later and it was nothing like other parades we've experienced here.   People were pushing themselves into the streets where the parade was to pass, police were trying to cordon off the street-lined spectators so the parade could procession through an open area, and it was absolute chaos and disorganization.  It also began to rain at one point.  When the parade finally advanced to where we were, I had already had my fill of photography.  Yet, I continued to photograph in spite of the low light of the evening.  We finally had enough of this halloweenish event (it reflected nothing of what Bo wrote about, which is what the original theme of this bibilical parade (fiesta) was supposed to be), and we finally pushed our way through the thick and intense (and somewhat drunken) crowd and walked home to the quiet of our city sanctuary (quiet compared to the revelry of this insane and bizarre event).  This is one parade I didn't really feel happy about when I walked away!  I did, however, happen to capture some fun photography, though the pictures reflect nothing about the biblical theme and event that took place in the day of Christ Jesus.  Go figure!!!!!  Here are some of the photos I captured to give you an idea of what this "Dia De Los Innocentes (Day of the Innocents) has become to the people of Cuenca…..
Girlfriends pose for a moment to shine in their costumes!
Wall watchers had the best view.
Costumes reflected everything but a biblical theme of Herod and the slaughter of the innocent.
Even pets were adorned for this event!
There were many police patrolling the streets, and at one point the crowds were cordoned off to make room for the paraders.
it was absolute chaos and disorganization!  Thousands showed up for this bizarre "Halloweenish" event!
Many parade viewers sat along the curb and seemed to be having a wonderful time watching the costumed strollers as they indulged in their vendor foods.  (Many of the beautiful Ecuadorian women dress up to the hilt and wear amazingly pointed spiked heels.  How in the world can they walk on these death-trap cobbled sidewalks and streets is beyond me when I can barely keep my balance in my running shoes!!!)
Finally, after a sprinkle of rain and evening dusk falling upon the city, the "fiesta" was on it's way through the crowded sardine-lined streets.....
There were colorful clowns.....

Wild partying drinking men in in drag.......

Freakish funny-looking who-knows-what.........

Sponge-faced characters......

.....and hundreds of Halloweenishly attired individuals and couples!

I could go on and on posting the trilliion crazy photos I captured, but I'm sure you get the gist of this wild and weird event.  It was more like a Halloween Street Party and we saw nothing that resembled the true meaning of the Biblical title, "Dia De Los Innocentes."

I'm sure there will be another parade this weekend, or soon enough.  I wonder what the next one will be?  Stay tuned................

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Leave us your comments and I will respond with any questions you may have. Enjoy our Blog! Linda (y Bo)