Some of you will recognize the Cuadras complex in the background. We stayed here when we first arrived in Cuenca.
We are guessing most of the little children were with their Moms at that early hour, probably still dressing up, eating breakfast, or getting that extra sleep for the long day ahead.
(Some have asked what folks do with all the fresh food that decorates the 'floats'...we hear it doesn't go to waste! At the end of the parade day, the families share the bounty with those less fortunate.)
We've written about this Cross' history before. This is the Humiliation Cross where criminals were tied and beaten before they were banished from the town, long ago. Nice to see a marching band and a balloon vendor instead!
Here's a typical picture of Rich enjoying the coffee.
a woman sweeping the sidewalk in her high heels! Another woman awaiting a delivery.
Busy doing chores, even on Christmas Eve.
After we enjoyed our visit with Chris and Jenny at the Kook, along with a cup of delicious coffee and wonderful food, we headed to the Square.
Music and adorable children in their Christmas outfits, some on foot, some on donkey or horseback, some riding on those vehicles we'd seen earlier. Sheep and cows and horses and llamas! The crowd spilled into the streets, so there was a good mix of parade participants and spectators. The hard-working street cleaners followed the animals in the parade, too, so the children could march in (sort of) clean streets.
Doting parents walked along, most also in colorful outfits, and kept a devoted eye on their little ones.
All so sweet! We love those unexpected, so sweet moments. Our Spanish is better this Christmas and we were able to talk more with the children. A very special treat for us. It's also easier to take pictures of the kids and families during the Holidays than at other times. Most proud parents will encourage you to take pics of the kids and themselves all dressed up. During other times of the year, not so much.
Everyone was decorated for the parade, even the doggies. We also had to smile with the babydolls on many of the little girls' backs.
Did the parade stop? No way! The show went on until all the children could paricipate. All the sun hats and sun umbrellas, just became rain hats and rain umbrellas. Everyone was flexible! Everyone loves a parade!
Pony and llama rides for the kids.
For last year's pics, go here:
Be sure to check out other blogs for more parade pictures and stories as well.
Families in Cuenca celebrate Christmas Eve until the wee hours. There's the parade, then there's Midnight Mass, then a family dinner of traditional food and music. Our neighborhood rocked with loud music and fireworks!
We took a walk through quiet streets on Christmas Day. This picture was taken right outside the busy 10 Aug market...little kids feeding their beautiful horse.
Everyone needs to eat, even on Christmas Day, and the market was doing a brisk business.
Many families shop for food each day, so the people's markets are always open (except on Census Day, when everything shuts down for a day, every 10 years.)
We've been thinking of past Christmas Seasons, pre-Ecuador, with friends and family. So many traditions, so much fun. We're remembering stockings, cutting down the perfect Christmas Tree and a yule log playing on the TV, too. Thanks for the treasured memories!
Wishing all of you a Very Happy Holiday Season, with Peace and Love and Joy.
Another gorgeous sunset to end the day...