Monday, 22 December 2008

Mini Festival de Las Flores

Yesterday evening we went to investigate was happening for the Mini Festival de Las Flores in Heredia. This festival was on from the 18th to the 21st but we didn’t have the opportunity to go until last night. We were amused to see many people (especially children) wearing woolly hats, scarves and gloves, because to us this was a lovely, warm, summer evening with long sleeves being optional!

We were treated to a performance by Chester the pasayo, and were pleased that we understood all of what he was saying (of course it was mainly aimed at the children). In the background of the pictures you can see La Basílica de la Inmaculada Concepción built in 1797 which, due to its squat, thick-walled design, has managed to withstand several earthquakes which destroyed other churches of this period. Chestercito waited until evening mass (misa) had finished prior to starting his show immediately as folk streamed out of the doors of the church.

After the pasayo, one of the organisers sat down and read some childrens stories:

Then it was time for a very nice firework display (fuegos artificiales – sorry, no pictures) and a live merengue band (not that we are experts in latin music, but the main singer of the band did mention merengue and he did seem to have a güira …).

Please note that the video clip below is so that you can hear a short clip of the music, the video itself is very dark and you won’t see a lot!

We enjoyed the fact that everyone was in good humour, singing along and really dancing to the band (even though this made it a little difficult to hold the camera steady to get good photos!) Those that didn’t want to dance made sure that those that did had plenty of space, and it was a really nice atmosphere. Zoë enjoyed it even though she usually avoids crowds whenever possible. She was also very happy when the band played a version of a Juanes song (La Camisa Negra) and she was able to join in with singing along!

As we left the parque central to go catch our bus back, we were reminded that this is most definitely not the UK as we walked past 3 police officers with guns standing unobtrusively at the edge of the park. And then on the way past the casino, we saw a guard with the biggest gun we have ever seen (apart from in the movies). One day we will take pictures, but coming from a country where guns are a rarity we are understandably a little unsure how folk with guns react when you take pictures of them!

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