Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ash Wednesday and beyond

Once again we were on the move. This time we went to Zinacantán where I hoped to see some backstrap weaving in progress, without realizing the consequences of it being Ash Wednesday.  We were under the impression that there was going to be music and dancing in the plaza so off we went. Upon arrival, yes there were many, many people outside and in the church "waiting for their ashes". Inside the church was covered in artfully arranged flowers, again in all colors imaginable.  What a sea of brilliant and beautiful colors. The designs on the huipils and faldas (skirts) are brilliant renditions of nature and readily identify what year they were made in. The falda that the young mom is wearing is the latest design: embroidered pleats with a metallic thread running through while this years colors in the huipil are the blues, turquoises, magentas, and purples. Some of the shirts/blouses that were seen are also intricately cross-stitched. Beautiful.
 and yet the older women seem to wear more plain renditions of the same design.

 the men are colorfully decked out and the children wear miniatures of the same.

I had wanted to see the actual weaving going on but it was not to be. I certainly don't begrudge this, I respect it - Ash Wednesday is a truly special day to these people here and I believe the whole town was at the church.

Later that evening Danny had arranged a beautiful dinner for my birthday. We went to a restaurant that served a totally local food from an area outside of Chiapas. They also had 2 men playing a marimba. Danny went up and asked them to play happy birthday, either the English version or the Spanish version, made no difference. The one fella knew kinda how it went and hummed it to the other and then they played, and played, and played. Just as John was going up to say "enough" they stopped. It was wonderful. 
L->R, Janine, John, Danny, Shirley, Jim, Ann

Don't think however, that I have ever had a meal that was totally meat with the exception of the melted cheese on top of the plate. All served on top of a pot that had hot coals in it to keep the food warm. Delicious!
Then back to the B&B for scrumptious, decadent chocolate pastry from a bakery down on the pedestrian walk and coffee/tea.