Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras!!!!

Today is Mardi Gras, literally Fat Tuesday, the last day of revelry before Lent. Exhausted celebrants around the globe, from New Orleans to Venice, from Curaçao to Rio, from Panama to Nice are going to take to the streets one more time. Not here, Miami is not included in these places.......sorry!

Curaçao is preparing for the Night Marcha, that will culminate in the burning of Rei Momo, who has reigned over the festivities since the start of the Tumba Festival a few weeks back! The parade will wind through the streets of the city in the coolness of the night, with thousand of fairy lights attached to floats and customs. A sight to behold! The music will play and the people will dance until Momo is burned.....He will be back again next year to start the celebrations all over again. In the Tropics life is a party, at least some of the time.

Las Tablas, the small city in Panamá where celebrations are famous all over the country, is in one more frenzy of activities. The women will wear the national custom: Pollera. Their heads covered with flowers made of shiny beads and silver thread, gold jewelery adorning their necks and the flowing customs swirling to the rhythm of the music. The dancing will go on and on until everyone is exhausted.....music and fireworks in the background. Just before dawn, in the town plaza, one more barrage of fireworks will light the sky and the thunderous noise will wake up anyone who has retired to sleep......and then it's over. Ash Wednesday is here!

How much fun I have had in both places throughout the years. How much I miss this crazy celebration that ushers the more subdued and religious activities of Lent. That is the whole purpose: have fun till you drop before you give God some of your attention. What a wonderful tradition!

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