Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cuasimodo Festival

Location: Streets of Lo Barnechea, Santiago, Chile

Rundown: Thousands of horses and riders, both in costume, take to the streets for a post-Easter parade of interesting origins in the Cuasimodo Festival.

According to the story, in the early days of the pueblo of Lo Barnechea, the priest of the small church would go out into the community during the Sunday after Easter and visit the elderly or ailing who couldn't make it to church the previous Sunday.

In those days the streets were more dangerous, and the huasos, or cowboys of the area, would escort the priest on his journey to the different homes and protect him from banditos.

Most dress in their standard garb, with poncho, but instead of their wide-brimmed, hats, the huasos don head scarves in honor of the event.

Many dress their horses up proudly in full coverings and carry flags.

Chileans are notorious horsemen, and even the youngsters ride in the event.

The people of the pueblo come out the see the event. The priest passes to houses with elderly occupants who couldn't make it to church.

During the event, I was invited into one of the houses to visit one of the abuelas (grandmas) who was visited. She told me she was, "ciento y tanto aƱos", or "a hundred and many more years old". Didn't get any shots of it, but it was a pretty neat experience.