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Travel and Photographs by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson

Don’t Rain On My Parade

or

Halloween In January??

[Note: I haven't posted for a few days because I have been sick with a bad head cold, and have been staying mostly indoor for the past couple days.  This will probably be our last post before returning home Tuesday.]

Today marks the end of Santos Inocentes, and includes the second largest parade of Cuenca's year (Christmas Eve Pase de Nino Viejo is the largest). This event originated as a remembrance of Herod slaying all newborn males after the birth of Jesus, but is now a free-for-all, and much closer to a Halloween parade, with lots of outlandish costumes and masks,

The morning started with us hearing a band in the street out front again.  I went out front and grabbed a few shots of a standard small parish religious parade, as we have seen come by before.  We assumed they were headed for the main parade, though it later appeared not to be the case.

The main parade was scheduled to begin at 4:00, so we took a bus across town (for 25 cents) to photograph the staging area. On the bus, Evelyn played peek-a-boo with a girl in the seat in front of us.

We arrived at the staging area... but found no evidence of staging?  We did see a different view of San Blas church than we had seen before, along with plenty of masks for sale and lots of police getting organized, so we knew we were in the right place.

We never did find a staging area.  This entire parade evolved somewhat differently than the Christmas Eve parade.  Of course that parade had 60,000 participants while this one was estimated at 1,000 which may account for some of the change. While waiting for the main event to start, we had fun looking at the audience.  The kids in particular were mostly in costumes or wearing masks, while some of the adults joined in the Halloween atmosphere too.

Notice the kid in the lower left seems to have confused Superman with Spider Man...:)

4:00 came and went with no parade.  4:30, still nada.  5:00 it started to rain and out came umbrellas (see top photo).  The umbrella vendors went wild and sold out in about 5 minutes... after which the rain passed and the rest of the evening was dry... At 5:30, the first of the parade started to come down the street.  One very common theme was a huge foam mask.  I never did quite understand what that was all about or what it is supposed to represent...

There were a couple dozen clowns in the parade.  They led things off, then wandered back through the parade length.  After awhile it became clear that they were actually aiding the police (perhaps they were police?) in trying to control the crowd -- which was a lost cause, as the audience kept pushing further and further into the streets.

That clown in the lower left is doing high kicks, trying to push the crowd back to allow room for the parade to pass. The audience moved back from his kicks, then moved forward into the street again as soon as he passed...

Can you tell where the parade ends and the audience starts?  They were completely intertwined most of the time.

As with every parade, there were a few dancing groups

There were also a few religious themes groups

Most of the Halloween costumes didn't appear to have anything to do with Herod and killing of infants...

Everyone seemed in a happy mood at the party / parade


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