Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Halloween in Cartagena

Halloween is now celebrated in Cartagena, although it isn't a local holiday. It is part of a week long carnival which ends with the crowning of Miss Columbia. This includes days of parades, fiestas, competitions and of course eating and drinking. Orange and black ballons and decorations hang outside many of the bars and costume parties are a new fixture. As in the US, occasionally a home will be decorated with a stuffed figure and other elements. Here at the Marina cruiser families went from boat to boat and "trick or treated". Two young children from "Blueprint
Martch" visit in their costumes here. Most of the cruisers attended the party given by the management and there were some wonderful costumes. Buddy and Melissa from "Indigo Moon" are shown on the right. Buddy was pretty impressed that I was able to kiss him with those teeth! There was live music and the crowd danced all evening. One of our cruiser friends is obviously having a wonderful time above right. Corn floor is
traditionally rubbed on people's faces during this whole holiday period. Water ballons are also thrown and it is necessary to carry small coins to buy off individuals covered in motor oil (from hugging you). Scott and I found doctor's uniforms downtown and they looked very realistic with our blood pressure cuff and syringes. Colleen had a clever spoof of the Mastercard ad - Priceless! Richard and Debra made fabulous pirates and won a prize in the contest (bottles of rum). Another prize was won by a family that all came covered in ballons (see picture below). They got a big round of applause as they landed in their dinghy and piled out. We had a witch and a wizard, and a skeleton and a fortune teller, among many others. Most of the locals wore what looked like carnival costumes. They uniformly looked really elegant and nice (especially compared to the crazy motley looking cruiser types).

A local meal of chicken and rice was served on a banana leaf. Drinks were passed around on trays most of the evening. During the first hour they included scotch and wine, but later rum and beer predominated. This cost $12 per person and was more than worth it! In fact as you can see from these pictures there was more than enough alcohol available for all!

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