29 September 2009

Dia de La Ciudad

As we were eating breakfast this morning, our friend Gustavo told us that a neighboring town was celebrating their town's "day." The whole town sets up banners, decorates the streets (literally), puts up vending and game booths, and imports festival rides like a merry-go-round and wheel. The priest is the center of attention here. The priest makes stops along the way, says a few prayers, and then continues on. The parade ends at the church, which is always in the center of town and has the central park or town plaza directly adjacent.

I find that the street decorations are the most interesting aspect. Ordinary people spend hours laying out a carpet of flowers, pine needles and colored sawdust. It's absolutely beautiful. However, as you can see in the video, the procession walks right over these decorations, destroying in a few minutes what had taken hours to make.

This seemingly futile artistic endeavor reminds me of the Tibetan monks who spend all day creating intricate art in the sand, only to rake over it at the end of the day. The monks do this to illustrate (and remind us?) that, in the big picture, what we know is minuscule and temporary.  We are but a spec of sand in the greater universe and heavens. Take from it what you will, but I hope you enjoy this short clip.

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