Corpus Cristi parade in Antigua

Nikki's picture
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It's been raining for hours.  At first a slow drip, drip to a thunderous pouring and back to a gentle trickle.  I guess that's the rainy season for you!  This morning a grandmother and her grandson were placing flowers on top of a pine-bough bed in the street, so we ased if there was a special occasion.  Today is el festival de Corpus Cristi, and the town is decked out with yellow and white flags, the streets are full of flowers, pine, and confetti, and people dressed in their Sunday best.  The air smells of cinnamon (from the firecrackers or fuegos artificiales, that go off every five minutes) and incense burning, lit by the jolly man who owns the funeral house next door.  We sit on the curb, watching the world go by, waiting for the parade to finally pass through this street, to honor the offerings laid down.  Groups of tourists walk by, the women wearing their newly bought Guatemalan purses (I, too, am guilty of this!) followed by families with toddlers dressed up like angels for the occasion.  Neighbors stand in the doorway, chatting and greeting passers by.  The parade finally passes with the drum beating, a man playing a march on a wooden flute, women wearing all black, and the climax--a gringo and Guatemalan priest under a a tent, holding a cross, pious, honoring the occasion.  The procession was almost a let down after the anticipation, but still a great slice of life experience.

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