Loco Parrandas in Remedios for Christmas Eve

We made it to Remedios for their famous fiesta and found accommodation on the 24th even though people said we wouldn’t make it past Santa Clara. It was great to meet up with our friends Laura and Sienna!

The locals were warning us. It was difficult to understand why we would need hats and to take cover – we’ve seen fireworks before? Initially it seemed straightforward, but then the fireworks got closer and closer. We found out soon enough. Holy crap! Mucho loco!!

Their parrandas actually has 3 elements: fireworks, the towers and the floats. For us the towers and floats simply lent an atmosphere and context for the fireworks. The ingenious system of timber frames for igniting multiple fireworks enabled excess fireworks to be scavenged for random public participation. Add copious amounts of rum and you have an explosive combination of pure anarchy. It was muy diversion!

It became clear that safety standards just aren’t valued as they are at home. Both Damian and Laura were launching homemade sparkling rockets. The action went from 11pm until dawn and then some, requiring lots of stamina and determination. Visually, it was almost like being amidst a war zone and the next morning was evidence of this.

Leaving Remedios is however, another story.

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