February 20, 2010

Carnival in Merida

From the Monday Night Carnival Parade

IMG_0280: Night Parade

Two weeks in Merida at a wonderful house and we have done next to nothing.

The big event in the city was the 2010 Carnival celebration. Starting a little over a week ago, there were parades everyday. On workdays they were in the evening and on the weekend they were during the day. We went out to see the crowds last weekend and on Tuesday, Mardi Gras.

On Monday evening we saw an entire parade. It was a bit cool and raining off and on. It was cool enough so that we wore sweat shirts. To be honest the whole week has been cool enough to require pants and long sleeved shirts. The parade was different from most of the other parades in Merida. This one featured social clubs in the local, old-fashion and native costumes, mostly Mayan. The floats were gaudy with loud music. Unlike New Orleans, they do not not toss beads and aluminum doubloons, rather it is plastic CocaCola cups and all kind of snacks in bags. Oh, and there was an occasional t-shirt. We felt for the paraders. They were getting wet, while we stayed dry.

I cannot say that my pictures are great, but they will give you a flavor of the Carnival in Merida.
To see all of them, press HERE for a slideshow of the Merida Carnival.

Posted by bill at February 20, 2010 07:31 PM

Impressive, especially the floats. I should know, I've been to more of these than I can count. Throw in an early morning Zulu parade and an evening tranny celebration and NO would be proud!

Posted by: Mickie Turk at February 21, 2010 10:13 AM

Mr. Bill and wife:

Odd that you two are doing the long tour of Mexico this year. I had decided that I would spend this winter in Oaxaca. The last time I had been in Oaxaca was 1985 and I had travelled there by train. This time I flew to Mex.D.F. and took an ADO Premier class bus (5 hours). Don't know if you've been to Oaxaca, yet. It hasn't changed much as far as the way it looks. It's still very much the Oaxaca of 1985 (or 1885). However, now the place has been "discovered" and is overrun with snowbirds from the USA and Canada.

Instead of continuing to stay in Mexico I found a cheap flight to Buenos Aires (where I met your wife at a somewhat lack luster language school in Recoleta). But unlike the last few trips to Argentina, things have improved dramatically. There are still cartineros in the streets, but a new city ordinance outlaws trash to be left on sidewalks and streets for more than 4 hours. It's also a 500 Peso fine if you're caught tossing your gum wrapper in the street. As a result, the city is sparkling clean. And the 'Mericuhns that were here in hoards back in 2002 through 2007 are gone (mostly). There are still lots of problems, but it wouldn't be Argentina if there weren't any.

You do realize, don't you, that you two are in one of the major ethnic cuisine centers of Mexico? I hope you've had the opportunity to eat in "upscale" restaurants as well as from the many street vendors. Best Thanksgiving I've ever had was in a modest restaurant several blocks east of the central square where we dined on amazingly spiced turkey wrapped and steamed in banana leaves. The "pibil" was good, too.

Good luck on your travels.

Posted by: William Nash at February 23, 2010 09:15 AM

The dates in the Carnival and Merida sets were 2002-02. Looked chilly, but still warmer than here. Europe is suffering from the climate change just like China was 2 years ago. Hope it will get better.

Posted by: Päivi & Santeri at February 24, 2010 01:27 AM