The Feast of Epiphany – Three Kings’ Day – passed this weekend. This an important celebration in many Catholic countries in Central and South America. This is especially true in Ecuador, where the celebration of the arrival of the three kings also serves as an opportunity to reenact traditional Ecuadorian folk themes, many of which originated long-ago to mock Spanish colonialism. Rather than a religious event, the celebration of the arrival of the three kings became one part of a larger celebration of culture.
I was fortunate to be in Quito, Ecuador, in 2006 and accidentally happened upon that year’s festivities. And I mean, accidentally happened upon it – the parade was blocking the route our tour guide was using to take us on a tour of Old Town. He gave us about five minutes to watch and then headed in another direction to continue his tour.
I quickly sized-up the situation and decided there was no way a tour of Old Town was going to be as interesting as this parade, so I instead became a part of the crowd following the parade as it wound through the streets.
It was colorful, chaotic, and a bit dizzying. . . and I still got to see Old Town.