Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cuenca: The Pase Del Niño Parade

This is not your traditional Christmas parade, this is a more than 500 year old tradition, watched by over 400,000 and participated in by over 35,000 people of all ages. It is a day long affair, with floats gathering in the dark hours of Christmas Eve day and continuing until late afternoon.

The highpoint of the celebrations is the festival of the traveling Infant Child, the Pase del Nino Viajero. This year's parade began officially at 10:00 a.m. at the Corazón de Jesús church on Gran Colombia. Cuenca’s Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera carried the Traveling Child statue to an alter erected at the main entrance of the church.

For tourists and foreign residents, and traditional, Christmas Eve’s Pase del Niño (the Passing of the Child) parade is a colorful and often bizarre mixture of the sacred and the profane. To locals, it’s a time-honored combination of Catholic and indigenous traditions that produces a festival of homage to the Christ child. ~ Cuenca High Life
The parade even consists of horses and llamas, ridden by children carrying local produce, chickens, candies and other goods. They march together with musicians, actors, dancers, military personnel and bands of all types, resulting in a rich, colorful and musical display.

We watched all the floats lining up on Las Americas, they started in the wee hours, still dark, and it was after 3PM before the last one had moved on to the main parade route. These were all taken from our apartment window with camera zoom ;)

Here are some wonderful photos shared by a new friend, Lainie. Thank you!

We will continue to see small parades through till the end of January. Last year we took photos from one on Primero de Mayo, the street we lived on, as well as driving through one on our way to a party!

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