Ecuador Culture: Cotacachi Festivals, Fiestas, Parades, Political Rallies and Religious Ceremonies
Ecuador culture is a continuous celebration. There are Cotacachi festivals, fiestas and fun-loving celebrations all year long.
Sometimes in Cotacachi there are back-to-back parades and fiestas spanning several weeks.
Everyone has a good time. There is plenty of good food, balloons and bright things to buy for the kids and music.
Easter celebrations last for hours. This year was fairly mild in its portrayal of Jesus' death.
The depiction of Jesus' crucifixion in another Easter parade was all too realistic.
Religious ceremonies are frequent, Christmas being the most popular day of the year. Statues of Christ are carried with pomp and solemnity throughout the streets as solemn music accompanies the mourners.
Children dressed as angels and shepherds act out the birth of Jesus in a remote indigenous village.
Mother Mary is just one of the many saints who are honored during parades. Santa Ana, the patron saint of Cotacachi, has a statue in the main town square in front of the cathedral.
The attitude of participants in the religious ceremonies in Cotacachi is one of respect and reverence tinged with sadness.
In July we had the Dance of San Juan (Inty Raymi), where the indigenous of many villages surrounding Cotacachi dress in chaps, kerchiefs and big black hats with symbols. They march and shuffle through Cotacachi, circling on corners, then reversing their circle.
They whistle, stomp, glare, drink and sometimes, fight. It's an odd, but powerful ceremony that covers several days and nights and ends with a day of dancing by the women. This is a gentler day that seems to settle down the emotional content of the fiesta and return the men to their senses. After they've recovered from days of being falling-down drunk, that is.
A few days after the Dance of San Juan, Cotacachi celebrates its birthday and independence a few more days of revelry, parades and loud music. But the locals don't stop here. They also celebrate the liberation or independence days of other Ecuador cities, too.
There are political rallies, as when President Correa visited Cotacachi. Speeches were spoken, flags were flown, flowers were flung and promises were made.
There are children's dance performances.
There are military parades.
Parades with strange characters.
To live in Cotacachi is to celebrate life in many different ways. The Cotacachi festivals, fiestas and parades are colorful, dramatic, loud and musical. From our window overlooking Bolivar Calle, we have a front row, bird's eye view of everything Cotacachi celebration.