Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Parades, Parties and Processions

It’s that wonderful time of the year! The island is buzzing with seasonal activities, music and colour. 

Early in the month the Mexican Christmas celebrations begin with the Feast of Our Lady Guadalupe; many church processions and masses are held in her honor. 
Then on December 16th the Posadas started and continued until December 24th. The word posada means inn or shelter, and in Mexico the posadas are re-enactments of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem. 

The procession makes its way to a different home on each night of the posada, and the participants sing a traditional song asking for admittance. The family inside the house responds with another song telling the group that there is no room at the inn. 

Eventually the song changes and the group is admitted to the home and supplied with food and drinks, plus a candy-filled piñata for the children. It is an important Christmas celebration in Mexico where an estimated eighty-five percent of the population observe the Catholic faith.

Colegio de Bachilleres students
By mid-month most of the schools were preparing to close for their Christmas holidays, and groups of students performed songs, plays, and skits for their parents and school friends. 

The basketball court across the street from our house was the venue for the high school skits. Each group of students had choreographed their dance routine to a well-known Christmas carol. 

Colegio de Bachilleres students
It was great fun to sit on our upper patio watching the enthusiastic performances of Jingle Bell Rock, Santa Baby, and Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. 

I’m thinking someone should re-write those songs for the tropics: maybe Rocking Around the Palm Tree? Or Riding on a One Dolphin Surfboard? Any volunteers? Many years ago I was booted out of a community choir for my lack of musical talent, so it won’t be me. 

Lupe, Yadira, and Freddy (Elmo) 
On Saturday December 19th we participated in the 3rd Annual Christmas Golf Cart Christmas, the brain-child of our friends Freddy Medina and Yadira Velázquez. 

It was hilariously good fun as we ricocheted through the tightly packed neighbourhoods, following Manolo Figueroa’s very changeable route. 

Sandra Buckholts and her sweetie
Many of us pondered the effectiveness of the brakes on a dilapidated party bus at the head of the parade. We faithfully followed the route up the only-steep-hill-on-the-island, zig-zagging through the narrow streets, and back down the only-steep-hill. 

We didn’t hear of any mishaps, so assume that everyone successfully negotiated the route. 

This year there were at least thirty golf carts festooned with lights and Christmas decorations. About a hundred and twenty excited participants dressed in costumes and a variety of Santa hats.

Valerie and John Pasnau
A surprise arrival of a golf cart driven by Santa and Mrs. Claus (John and Valerie Pasnau) was a great addition to the parade. 

Our police motorcycle escort was terrific at keeping the group together - like herding cats - as the line of golf carts and motorcycles wound its way through various areas on the island. 

Great job guys - keeping us all together! 
Freddy Medina and Lawrie

Everyone had candy to throw, but as usually happens we all get overly enthusiastic at the beginning of the parade, and run out of treats before the parade ends in Centro. 

Note to self: ration the candy, don’t toss huge handfuls at every child. Love this time of year in paradise.

It may not be politically correct to wish you Merry Christmas instead of Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays – but on this island Christmas is an important family and religious celebration.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Lawrie & Lynda

On a personal note: We have a young female lab-retriever who has been residing at our house for over two weeks.  She would like to be returned to her own family, but we don't know where she lives.  If you recognize this young lady please leave me a message on the comments below, or on FaceBook.  She is a sweetie: gentle, house-trained, and leash-trained.  Someone has put a lot of love into her upbringing.  I am sure there is a family anxiously waiting for her return.
Female, about 2 years old, good health, spayed.

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Life's a Beach! said...

Hope Perla finds her family! She's beautiful! Would love to experience Christmas on Isla some year! Who knows? Maybe 2016! Merry Christmas to you, Lawrie, Tommy, Sparky, and that beautiful golden girl!

Lynda & Lawrie said...

What's your address again, Beck? LOL
Merry Christmas to you from all of us at the Zoo!