Sunday, October 23, 2016

Oaxaca: Fun Facts

Oaxaca is a big city. A million people live here and in its environs.

There are 32 distinct ethnic groups in Mexico. Sixteen of them are indigenous to Oaxaca. There are 16 living languages here not counting all the different dialects.

When someone dies here, this is what people say to express their condolences: "We are all on the same path."

Today was the grand finale of the days long Señor del Rayo celebration. This is completely separate from Day of the Dead. There were fireworks at the cathedral. But not like the fireworks you know, bursting in air. There were dancers. One dancer worn a sculpture in the shape of a bull, another might have been a human figure, the third was spinning so fast I have no idea what it was. Maybe a turtle. These metal framework/costumes were rigged with giant sparklers that were set off during the dancing and spinning. When the dancers were finished a tower (40 ft. high?) also rigged with giant sparklers was set alight in stages. First there were wheels of light, then a giant rose, then multicolored hearts, then Christ on the cross (yes, Christ alight with immense sparklers,) then the words Señor del Rayo.

Then the entire facade of gargantuan stone cathedral was transformed into a waterfall of light. Oh, and yeah, there were regular fireworks overhead while all of this was going on.

Oh, and earlier in the day, a local rock band played in the courtyard at this casa where I am staying. That was after a trip to a perfectly curated museum--

 And I devoured an amazing dish of mango sorbet from a little cafe that served only ice cream and sorbet and special drinks. The menu broke it down--desserts made with aqua and desserts made with leche. There was a flavor called beso de angel. Of course I will have to have that before I leave.


Elizabeth said...

Oh, how fun!

Tamberly Alger said...

Sounds like a great time. Enjoy!