Thursday, June 14, 2012

La fiesta del Corpus Christi part I

Yesterday was the last night of la fiesta del Corpus Christi. I wasn't sure what it was all about, so I pulled up some info from the Travel Ecuador site (check it out for a better explanation!). It's a church festival that seems to be mainly about the sugar and fireworks here:

A special manifestation of Corpus that remains today, there is a special way in the city of Cuenca in the southern Andes, where for the liturgical feasts of Corpus is performed in the main square of the city a curious and massive sweet fair of the most ingenious, original and varied ingredients, colors, shapes and flavors, which not only brings crowds of the city but in other parts of the country to enjoy these sweet treats. It also maintains the custom of Catholic religious procession these days. These events are special and important place castles fireworks and the role of "priostes" or sponsors of the festival.

With the help of Josh (my brother's Spanish tudor), I managed to convince Nick to go with me to Parque Calderon to check out the fiesta that's been going on all week. We ate dinner at Raymipampa, then wandered through all the many booths selling sugary treats, around the park. We tried homemade chocolate covered marshmallows, candy that looked like gumdrops (but was really just fruit juice sweetened balls of sugar - I didn't like them), I had a pastry that was like a mini cream horn (and sooooo good) as well as half a candied apple. Nick bought us a couple bags of cotton candy (that he says tastes the same in the States) for later. I think I ate enough sugar to last me awhile! We took a peek into the church where everything was lit up, and we caught a small parade led by a military band, walking down the street into the church, dropping flower petals everywhere. It was really interesting to see. There was also this large wooden tower set up that we walked past earlier in the evening, that they used to set off pyrotechnics and fireworks. We were fairly close to it, only a a few people into the crowd, and once the larger fireworks started going off, sparks flew into the crowd and people backed up (Nick put his hood on!), but I was just standing there snapping away on my camera! It was the closest I'd ever been to something like that, and it was quite the experience.
I managed to capture around 70 photos, but I weeded it down to 38. A lot of them are blurred because I don't like to use my flash, but with some fiddling with the ISO everything was bright enough, I just don't have the steadiest hands, but I really like how a lot of these came out.

This one was shot by Nick!


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