Sunday, March 18, 2012

burning desire

Saturday evening was about as Mexican as a person can get.

I cooked up a pot of beans (admittedly with a few nouvelle cuisine touches -- something we can discuss later) and ate a bowl before leaving for the last day of our week-long celebration of Saint Patrick's death.  Well, his life.  That we celebrate on the date of his death.

Beanified, I walked the mile or so to the San Patricio village square.  A blind man could have found it.  With the doors closed at home, I could hear the band and the bingo announcer.  Loud counts in music and fireworks.  And we had a night of both.
What is it with Mexican religious fiesta music?  It sounds like a pastiche of Italian melodies, German rhythm, and Mexican exuberance.  But I like it.  Probably because I identify it so closely with nights like last night.

When I got to the square, I joined the strolling crowd -- slowing rotating counter-clockwise.  (It was destined to be a night of circular motion.)  Greeting neighbors seated on the shore of our own It's a Small World stream.

There are people who can do The Stroll all evening.  And do.  I am not one of them.  Instead, After two revolutions, I headed over to the carnival rides.

If there is a Fountain of Youth, these rides must be produced there.  Where else could youngsters, teenagers and adults (some with graying hair) be reduced to the same giddy level when subjected to things that merely spin and rotate?  Count me as a founding member of the J. Paul Giddy list.

We were still at least an hour (it turned out to be two) away from the fireworks show. What to do?  Let's see.  This is a religious festival for Saint Patrick.  Why not drop by the church where he is the patron saint?  And drop by I did.

Usually when I visit the rather bare Catholic church in San Patricio, I have the place to myself -- and the occasional pigeon.  Not last night.  Older couples.  Young families.  Single petitioners.  Praying.  Exercising the faith for which the place was built.

And, all the while, the band wrestled with Verdi and Strauss, and the bingo announcer chirped on.  Until all went silent.  That meant the big event was about to happen.  And happen it did.

I do not know what Friday night's fireworks were like.  I do know they were loud.  But last night's were a four rocket Francis Scott Key night.

The castillo was one of the most intricate I have seen.  The wheel I saw being constructed in the jardin earlier in the day was merely one part of a multi-layered display that moved at differing speeds when lit. 

And, of course, there were a record number of small rockets that shot into the udience creating joyous panic -- and a few burns here and there.  One of the rockets managed to find its way up my bare leg while I was filming.

When the castillo was done, rockets were fired into the air -- the type that are usually shot off early in the morning to remind us a saint day is at hand.  Then a series of traditional fireworks.  Followed by at least five toritos -- chased by the local boys who jumped and yelled like -- well, local boys.

A few of the teenage American and Canadian Spring Break crowd were spectators.  And they did not acquit themselves well.  The local girls showed far more bravery around the rockets.  Of course, the northern boys are not from a culture where fiery objects are purposely shot at people for their enjoyment.

Everything tonight was as it should be.  And I would no have missed a bit of it.

Was it grander than last night?  I don't know.  And I really don't care. 

All I know is -- I had a great time.  And I am looking forward to next year's fiesta.  Or, come to think of it, maybe next month's.

Note -- When I upload directly to YouTube, my videos gather a lot of distortion.  Let me try another source for my video.  Bear with me while I experiment.


Andean said...

For sure there were plenty familiar faces in the crowd enjoying from near and far. The town of Barra almost becomes deserted those nights, they're all celebrating at San Patricio's square, when they return there's no doubt they had a great time and continue on the same trend...

Steve Cotton said...

 And now we have Benito Juarez's birthday stacked on top of the weekend.  Plenty of celebration going on.  It makes me wonder what happened to Lent.  But I have never understood that, either.

Andean said...

Lent--you didn't give something up? I didn't realize celebrating was an option.

Steve Cotton said...

 I usually exercise my faith by celebrating every day.  Lent is foreign to me.

Andean said...

One of the healthiest for the soul!

Andean said...

Exercising faith while celebrating--one of the greatest lessons in my life...

Andean said...

Excercising our faith by celebrating--always one of the best lessons learned.