We had known all along that Monday was going to be the big day in Izamal. That was the actual day of the procession. Still, we were quite dismayed to step out onto our little balcony overlooking the park and see that they were constructing one of the largest stages I have ever seen right across from our balcony and doors. The worst part was the 8 huge speakers sitting atop one another on either side of the stage. We knew what that meant!
After breakfast and a little shopping, we gathered what we needed and headed over to Andrea's parents house. We knew that Andrea's mother was preparing another special feast in our honor that day. In a big, special gatherings like this, everybody that can, contributes money to help buy the groceries for the meal. We were more than happy the day before to contribute towards this meal. It was a bit disconcerting though to offer to help pay and then have them tell you the total amount they needed for the meal and expect you to reach into your pocket and hand over the money. But we did. One of the items they needed to purchase was a pig's head. The meat from the cheeks is especially succulent and prized for the meal she was preparing.....Pozole! I loves me some Pozole and was happy to hear we would be getting some homemade.
Of course, being the unwilling guests of honor, we were served first. Huge steaming bowls of Pozole to which we added the customary helpings of lettuce, oregano, radish slices, chili powder, lime juice and taco chips. We were served in big glass bowls so were able to see with crystal clarity the two inches of pork fat floating on the surface. No attempt had been made to skim this off and it was duly consumed by yours truly. Not without a bit of guilt for eating something so fatty but still glad for the tremendous delictableness of it.
Six o'clock saw Bob and I in the square, waiting of course for everybody else to show up. Which they eventually did. We made our way over to the procession route and waited for the parade to start.
And what a Parade! First came two drum and bugle bands, followed by the actual Christo Negro being carried on the shoulders of six men. This figure was huge and looked like it weighted a small ton. There were 15 ribbons coming off from it, all being held by one of the faithful. This was followed by what seemed like thousands of the devout. Most carrying multiple candles from which the wax had melted and coated their hands. It was a very moving, very intense scene and experience for me. I am so glad I got to witness it.
The rest of the night was not so enjoyable. See you on Monday for the final chapter!