Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fiestas Patronales

Today as we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception Suchitoto is in the happy middle of its week of Fiestas Patronales. It's not enough here to celebrate one day, the day of our city's patron saint, Santa Lucia, on December 12th: we're having an entire week of parades, dances, fireworks, rockets and special masses. About a week ago, the special program for the week, 39 full-color pages, arrived at our doors. Each of the city's neighborhoods has its special day for celebration - Barrio Calvario, where I live, will celebrate on Thursday. Today, of course, belongs to Barrio ConcepciĆ³n. Here's today's schedule:

  • 4:30 AM - Wake with fireworks (the loud bang sort)
  • 5:00 AM - process to church with the neighbors as an offering to Santa Lucia
  • 9:00 AM - parade of the masked ones (mostly children wearing masks of old folk)
  • 9:00 AM - 70,000 fish are released into Lago Suchitlan (this neighborhood goes down to the tourist center at the lake)
  • 3:00 PM - children's fiesta
  • 5:00 PM - Open-air Mass in honor of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
  • 6:00 PM - Procession of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
  • 7:00 PM - Parade of the community's float, accompanied by a children's parade
  • 8:00 PM - Fireworks in the neighborhood
  • 8:30 PM - Dance fiesta
I should probably add that each neighborhood has a symbol, a color, and a candidate for queen of the fiesta. And everyone is having a grand time, all week long. Saturday, the actual feast day, promises to be one long, loud, happy party. Photos to follow!

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