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The meaning of Christmas and Cuenca’s holidays

 

Editor’s note: Expat Jeremiah Reardon provides a photographic review of the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season in Cuenca. Jeremiah says he took more 600 pictures during the holidays.

Photos and text by Jeremiah Reardon

The most compelling of my photos are the ones taken at “Papeleria y Libreia Pacheco.” Our crew is earnestly at work to serve over 300 people attending Cuenca’s largest festival, “Paseo del Nino,” or the Passing of the Child. Over 100,000 attend the day long parade in El Centro on Christmas Eve.

My wife Belinda and I visited the New Cathedral to see many of the faithful holding blessed cradles with the infant Jesus. Overwhelmed by the long line, we skipped its 3,000 square foot Nativity Exhibit created by artisans of Loja, three hours to the south.

Cuenca offers many events signifying the joy and wonder of religious traditions embedded in Spanish culture. The acceptance and participation of its Andean population creates the magic which we expats experience on many levels. At Pacheco’s store, my friends and I encounter them first-hand.

For five years Belinda and I have reveled in our tranquil city’s holiday spirit. Offered freely in churches and the street, concerts, exhibitions and fiestas channel the energies of artists, organizations and friends.

With my Fuji FinePix JX200 snap and shoot camera I focus on scenes which memorialize these festive occasions. As Christmas Day approaches I have over 600 pictures to narrow down to a comprehensive album to share with family and friends as our way to show our love.

I hope you enjoy the ones presented here by CuencaHighLife. And my sincere thanks to you for viewing my reflection on the meaning of Christmas.