The entire week leading up to the festival, the city prepares. Carnival rides are put up for children to enjoy, and fireworks are launched several times a day all week long. They have been my 7:30 am wake up call every day since my arrival, which I must admit, has not been my favorite part of the week. But as silly as it seems to launch fireworks in the daytime – this entire town has been building it’s excitement for yesterday’s festivities all week long.
The night before, 60 some odd people stay up all night long to transform the street that leads to their main church into a vibrant, colorful, sand-art aisle-way. Colorful paper pinwheels are hung from the trees, and flea markets seem sprout overnight. To catch a glimpse of the magic, people go to view the sand art (which sparkles in the sunlight) in the morning before the cardinal walks along the aisle-masterpiece to the church. Behind him, townspeople then enjoy kicking and destroying their town’s colorful creation.
When the cardinal reaches the church he finds the entranceway has been adorned with a mosaic made entirely of beans, seeds, and dried corn. It is re-made new each year for each new festival. Once inside the church, the cardinal will be surrounded by beautiful flowers lining the walls and alters. It is truly a stunning sight. Later that night, fireworks launch yet again.
I was taken with the entire event. First, because of the colorful beauty that takes over the town on this day. But even more so, I was moved because this event is a true example of town coming together and working as a team to create a beautiful and special holiday. I really appreciated the amount of work and planning that this operation took to accomplish! I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.