Tuesday, February 12, 2013

San Pedro - Carnaval 2013!

Last night was another one of those No plans, No problems kind of nights....
Actually, that isn't completely true - I was supposed to work at Pedro's last night, but the other bartender got our schedules mixed up, so, long story short, she ended up working and I ended up going out to drink and experiencing my first Carnaval in Belize....

Anyway, I texted my roomie and asked her to come out to play - and she had the brilliant idea to go to Capri for their margarita happy hour special (2 for $12bz, 3-6pm) to get started.
She's a very smart girl.

Number 1 out of 4.....
Dukunu - What to do with all that corn

 I heard music coming from the street, so I went out to see what was going on...

The first group of carnival comparsas (street dancers) going by...

The men dress like women, the women dress like men, they do a little dance, and then they collect money from the crowd that goes to whatever cause they're supporting (it usually gets donated to the schools and orphanage, from what I was told)

A bit later, once the sun went down, people starting running around town, painting each other (you'll see what I mean in the pics below) breaking eggs on people's heads, and kids were in the park having an orange throwing fight...

Business prepare for carnaval by throwing tarps and plastic over their windows and doors...

 
 And people end up looking like this by the end of the night..




So.... what is the point of all of this?
I wasn't sure either, so I did some Googling and found some history...

The Lenten period of the Liturgical year Church calendar, being the six weeks directly before Easter, was marked by fasting and other pious or penitential practices. Traditionally during Lent, no parties or other celebrations were held, and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar. The forty days of Lent, recalling the Gospel accounts of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, serve to mark an annual time of turning. In the days before Lent, all rich food and drink had to be disposed of. The consumption of this, in a giant party that involved the whole community, is thought to be the origin of Carnival.

Ok, so... you have to party before you give up everything for Lent, I get that part... but why the crossdressing and the paint, eggs, and orange throwing??

If anyone knows, please leave it in a comment so we're all on the same page here, will ya?

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