Carnival 2014 – Cops and Robbers and Bees

March 07, 2014 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

After my impressive performance her first year, for the last two years of Nora’s daycare, I was ordained the official daycare photographer for the Carnival parade, where all the kids and parents (from all the daycares and preschools) dress up and parade around town. Since I was out of town for last year (it rained, anyway), and Ian hadn’t yet shown his face, this was the first year that I had ties to both the local school and to the daycare. Several months ago, the daycare boss, Adela, approached me and said, “We can count on you as photographer again this year, right?” I said, well…since I’ve got Nora in school, I’m not sure which group I should participate with. She said, “But you’re dressing up with us, right?” I said, “Well, that depends…Nora’s class is dressing up as bees, which is pretty cute. What is your costume?” She explained that the kids were going to dress up as cops, and the parents as prisoners. I was sold immediately. She always has the most creative ideas, like when the grown-ups were angels and the kids demons.
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Carnival 2013 – Preschool Clowns

February 13, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos, Spain

Carnival 2013Due to Easter falling early this year, the annual local children’s Carnival celebration fell during my annual February golf trip. I was quite disappointed, since I have very much enjoyed photographing the festival in past years. However, it has been raining pretty much nonstop for all of 2013, and the weather got particularly bad last Friday when they were scheduled to have their parade, so all the activity was kept indoors. There is some talk that they might try to do the parade later this week.
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Pelele – Spanish Impotency Effigy

January 29, 2013 By: erik Category: Partying, Spain, Weird

Pelele, GoyaMy three-year-old daughter has been instructed by her teacher to bring in some old clothes that no longer fit for the Pelele celebration. According to this Spanish Wikipedia article, the Pelele is a rag doll or straw puppet that is thrown high up into the air by a group of women during the Carnival (Mardi Gras) celebrations in Madrid, while they sing about beating him to death. The doll is later burned. Ritual burnings are common in Europe around the solstices, as an ancient pagan symbol of rebirth. The symbolism of burning your old clothes is pretty straightforwardly similar, however, I suspect that the use of old clothes is more about getting straw into a humanoid shape. The real reason for the doll becomes apparent upon listening to the lyrics of the song.
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Carnival 2012 – Santoña

February 19, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Spain, Travel

Sunset DockWe’ve heard from past years that the nearby town of Santoña puts on a good Carnival festival. We were a little disappointed, however, to see that the parade starts at dusk rather than during the day when it’s warmer and easier to see costumes. But we decided to give it a chance anyway, so we left at around lunchtime to go have some tapas and spend a lazy afternoon in Santoña awaiting the parade. Nora, of course, was delighted to get a chance to get more milage out of her Sevillana dress.
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Carnival 2012 in Colindres: Snow White

February 17, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Spain

Carnaval 2012 - La Cucaña - Colindres - 124Today was the big Carnival parade, sort of a “Halloween meets Mardi Gras” thing that is very typical for children in Spanish culture. Apparently I did such a fine job last year that my presence was simply assumed as The Official Daycare Photographer. Perhaps in honor of that job, I was also given a leading role in this year’s costume theme. About a month ago, I was told by Adela, the daycare owner, that this year for Carnival the kids would be dressed up as dwarves, the daycare employees would all be dressed as Snow White, Adela herself would be the Evil Stepmother, and I, the only parent with a themed costume, would be dressed as none other than Prince Charming.
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Carnival 2011 in Colindres – Angels and Demons

March 04, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Photos, Spain

Carnaval 2011 - ColindresA few weeks ago, we received a letter from Nora’s daycare that read something like this:

On Friday, March 4, we will celebrate Carnival and go on a parade around town with all the other daycares and schools. This year the children will be dressed up as demons (very appropriate) and the educators and parents and grandparents will be dressed up as little angels (which is what we are).

When I commented to the daycare boss how much I appreciated her sense of humor, she thanked me and said that she’d actually received one complaint from some schmuck about calling her daughter a demon. Jeez.

A few days ago, we’d been given Nora’s demon tail to be sewed onto a pair of trousers, and been instructed that she wear the darkest clothes she has. Here-in lies the problem with celebrating Carnival in the northern hemisphere: it’s bloody cold in February and early March! So either you wear your coat over your costume and no one can see your costume, or you are cold. One of the many things that was well done about the way our daycare organized things, was that the costumes were made of plastic and designed to be worn on the outside of your coat.
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