Friday, December 09, 2005

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Las Monjas Church is the church that celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. That seems like a fitting celebration for the church of the Nuns. The feast day was yesterday so we had tried to determine what would be happening and when at the church. We were never quite sure how it would all play out but we knew from last year that there would be fireworks. We thought they would happen about 9:00 PM. So around 8:00 PM we walked up to the Iglesia de Monjas.

The castillo for the fireworks had been erected in the street but traffic had not been stopped. They just went around it. Ned asked the men who seem to be in charge of the castillo when the castillo would be lit and they said, "Oh, 10:00 or 10:30." We walked into the courtyard of the church which was crowded. There were food booths, a band, games, punches with Rum or Tequila, children performances and people just visiting. We talked with Heidi and Vicente who have the chicken store in our neighborhood and with Jose Luis who has done upholstery for us and his shop is also in our neighborhood. Heidi told us the fireworks would be at 9:30.

We decided to go over to Tio Lucas and have a drink instead of a "punch" while we waited. Tio Lucas is about a block from the church and is a nice restaurant that is popular with both Mexicans and foreigners. When we walked in the door we saw someone waving at us. It was David, Joseph and Gary who were having dinner. We talked for a minute and then went into the bar and ordered our drinks.

A little after 9:30 we went back to the Iglesia de Monjas. No signs of the castillo of fireworks being lit. About 10:00 PM a Transito Police truck pulled up near the castillo but nothing was happening. The traffic was still going around the castillo and down the street. We sat on the curb and listened to the band as we waited. This was a fairly large band but I would say that most of the 9th grade bands in the USA would be able to compete very well with this band. I haven't decided if the sound of the Mexican bands is because of lack of practice together or the age and condition of the instruments. It is probably a little bit of both. But the music is played with much enthusiasm.

It was after 10:30 before the castillo was lit and the Transito Police didn't stop traffic on the street until the first sparkles from the fireworks started. I've written about Mexican fireworks before. As many times as I have seen them, they still amaze me. There is always a grand finale with rockets. Then time for everyone to head for home.

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