Monday, February 15, 2010

Carnaval Sunday/Grand Marcha

While we were celebrating Valentine's Day, people in Panama and Curacao where celebrating another day of Canival/Carnaval. In Curaçao, everyone was up early, never mind the late night celebrations. Those who were to participate in the Grand Marcha started getting ready with their customs, make up... The rest got ready to take their places along the parade route.

For several days, people built places from where to watch: some shade, high off the ground so you could see everything, enough room to rest, put drinks and food out.... Some space in front to go down and dance to the music, mingle with the participants and socialize with friends. So much fun! Whole families spend the day doing this. Hats were worn to keep the sun off faces, but still there would be many sunburned faces at the end of the day. I can hear the shouts, the laughter...can close my eyes and be there.

In Las Tablas, third day of celebrations and people are living on adrenaline.....can't stop now! Most everyone got up early: throwing water at each other, dancing in the streets, having a drink, (maybe...even if it's early!) and reveling. The streets are littered with red paper from the fireworks, and there are fireworks as well during the day forming a background of music and crackling that is the sound of Carnaval. In early evening the Queens would be out in their floats, dressed beautifully elaborate customs. Townspeople are hiding in their homes!

I feel elated and exhausted at the same time when I think of this, but truly miss it and wouldn't have minded being there either place, today!

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