The Summer Solstice festival (AKA the Festival of San Pedro according to the
Catholic church) lasts for approximtely 10 days. Everyone comes from miles around to
celebrate (from as far away as Quito). Most elderly Ecuadorian women wear traditional dress.
Some men where a modified type of cowboy chaps. Others dress up as the Inca
sun god *Inti) and wear a mask with a face on two sides. That is so the person
can always be facing the sun -- they believe it is disrespectful to turn one's back
on a god.
The town square in alive with music, street vendors, and dancing. This is a family
affair during the afternoon until about 9 pm. The party continues until aobut 4 am each morning.
The band plays the same refrain over and over again... The quality of their
music does not improve with time.
I danced with the local Ecuadorian men following their own tradition -- with one hand
carrying a bottle of beer. It foamed and made a terrible mess (NOTE TO SELF: Don't drink
and dance). Another popular drink was chicha. It is about 150 proof, served
hot and is made with human spit. I was neither
brave enough nor cold enough to try it.