San Juan: Festival Folklórico

June 25, 2012

To be burned at the stake.

The festival of San Juan originally began as a Catholic tradition in Spain, celebrating John the Baptist and the European summer solstice, an intentional combination of both the religious and the “profane.” I think. This is what I seem to have gathered from random websites that include Wikipedia and an assortment of Paraguayan verbal explanations, none of which corroborated. Take the reliability of my historical information and sources in this entry with a grain of salt.

In Paraguay, the celebration has become more cultural than religious with various Guarani traditions (ask me to name them and I couldn’t give you even one; it has been a confusing weekend), so as a result, Mi Esperanza sponsored a second annual carnival-type venture in an effort to reach our neighborhood and community.

It was quite the spectacle.

Whoever was DJing came with a five-song track that self-repeated over four hours on both nights. I heard Besame seventeen million times and it is no longer one of my favorite songs.

One of the kid’s games was Knock the Pyramid, complete with a tower assembled of taped toilet paper rolls. Resourceful.

The concept of accumulating tickets to trade in for better prizes (of which toothbrushes are totally desirable–I’m not even being sarcastic), was unfathomable. I made that speech hundreds of times to no avail.

A little sleepy nugget came and asked, “It fine I sit on your lap, Big Lowen?” and promptly fell asleep under my moose hat.

And a stuffed dummy labeled with the name of a politician who played a key role in the recent impeachment of the Paraguayan president (more about that confusing mess later) was set on fire at the end of the first night.

Ah, yes. We are in Paraguay.

The beginnings.

Setting up our prize booth.

Lining up for the games.

Sack races!

The antlers hide a small snoozing snugglebug. <3

*Apologies for the low-quality photos. My camera abhors the night.

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