- Slides: 24
Puerto Ricans Masks
• Masks are an integral part of Puerto Rican religious festivals – The Santiago Apóstol Festival – The Hatillo Festival of the Masks – The Ponce Carnival – The San Sebastian Street Festival • In these festivals, some people dress as religious or historical characters. The masks are the highlight of the costumes.
� • Located in Loiza, on the northeast coast
• The Festival de Loiza is a traditional celebration originating in the coastal Northeastern region of Loiza (named after the Indian/Taina Chief Yuisa) in Puerto Rico where its community traces its ancestry back to Africa.
• Throughout the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Central and Latin America the historic battle between the Moors of North Africa and the Spaniards’ re-conquest of Iberia, renamed Spain, is re-enacted incorporating the image of Santiago Apostal as the victor of this battle. The Festival is an annual celebration in tribute to the legendary patron saint that traveled from Spain to the Americas.
• However, overtime the religious significance of this image has been diminished in the festival and the celebratory aspect of traditional African descent figures have taken on a prominent position. These figures are seen in the celebration festivals of other locations in the Caribbean, Central and Latin America.
The Loiza traditional procession figures are: • Vegigantes – Related to the Moko Jumbies of the English Speaking Caribbean – the costume is a multicolored costume resembling a bat with a colorful coconut mask. • El Viejo y La Vieja – Old man and woman – young people dressed in baggy clothing of assorted colors walking with canes.
• La Loca – Re-creating a comical old woman who gets into everyone’s business • El Caballero – Dresses in Spanish conquistador dress – with a mesh painted mask among other figures.
The Hatillo Festival of the Masks • On December 28 the town of Hatillo (on Puerto Rico’s north coast) will celebrate its annual Mask Festival • This tradition dates back to 1823, when the town of Hatillo was founded • It represents the biblical story of King Herod ordering the death of all infant boys, attempting to kill Baby Jesus
• Men, women and children of all ages take part in the festival wearing masks and costumes from head to toe • This is an all day event starting at around 8: 30 am and includes processions and music • Men with colorful masks and costumes represent the soldiers, who run or ride through the town from early morning looking for the children. Food, crafts and music
The Ponce Carnival • Puerto Rico's Caribbean shout-out to Mardi Gras and its more famous cousin in Rio de Janeiro • 200 years • The celebration takes place in February, in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. • roots in Catholicism
• The vejigantes, armed with their vejigas (inflated cow bladders), go around whacking children and other innocents, ostensibly to beat away any evil spirits that are lingering around them • The festival ends with the Entierro de la Sardina, or "Burial of the Sardine. “ • This mock funeral, complete with dummy-laden coffin, is in honor of the coming season of lent. Coffin and dummy are set on fire, to symbolize the burning away of the sins of the flesh.
What to expect… • • • traditional bomba y plena music, plenty of eating and drinking, a chanting, boisterous crowd. a parade for the King and Queen of the Carnival
San Sebastian Street Festival • 4 day event in early January • annual event on Calle San Sebastián in Old San Juan since 1950 and then restarted 1970 • started as community fund-raiser • Created by a priest to celebrate the feast day of Saint Sebastian • Has a parade
• started as community fund-raiser • Created by a priest to celebrate the feast day of Saint Sebastian • the largest festival in Puerto Rico with thousands of locals and visitors descending on Old San Juan to PARTY by day and by night • There will also be around 300 local artisans • 50 musical groups taking part over the 4 days
What to expect • During the day (Saturday and Sunday) you will find a slighter calmer atmosphere than on an evening, with more families enjoying the daytime festival activities • As evening falls a younger crowd takes to the streets to make the most of the lifting of the ‘drinking alcohol in public’ ban in and around the streets of Calle San Sebastian, with the partying continuing until 2 am at which point a police curfew is enforced.