Saturday, August 15, 2015

Festival of the Dead, part 3: Playing with Fire

When the dance and games are over, the lights illuminating the grounds suddenly go out, casting the crowd in eerie shadows.

It is not a power blackout, but rather preparation for what is perhaps the most anticipated part of the evening for the children: the fireworks.  Unlike some fireworks displays where the crowd is invited to watch from a safe distance as professional pyrotechnics put on a choreographed display, here the crowd is invited to step forward and take part as literally thousands of fireworks are passed into the waiting hands of dozens of small children.  To a backdrop of bottle rockets being set off directly behind them, adults armed with lighters ignite the sparklers and other small explosives held in the hands of the delighted children.  

I must admit my heart skipped more than a few beats as little children screamed with delight while running around waving flaming sticks of fire.

To be completed in part four.

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