Thursday, December 10, 2009

Early to rise

This fiesta week is not for weaklings! This morning I set my alarm for 4 AM, but needn't have bothered - at about 4:10 a large string of firecrackers, metalicas, were set off on the street outside. Time to get up and join the procession! Today was the day for my neighborhood, Barrio Calvario, and we gathered outside the house next door, sitting on the high curbs with our candles ready to be lit, drinking coffee and eating pastries. A band played Las MaƱanitas. The smart people turned their styrofoam coffee cups into candle holders. I demolished one coffee cup and had to go back and try again. After a while, after some invisible signal, someone lit one candle, and the light passed from hand to hand. Four women began carrying the small statue of the Virgin, the band walked behind them, playing, and we all walked behind them in the darkness, walked the length of our neighborhood and back again, and then to the church, where the candles were carefully placed on a huge tray in front of the Santisimo in the Sanctuary. And then, at 6 AM, Mass began.

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