Burning of the Bad Humor Man


San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

Carnaval 2010 began this evening (Feb. 12, 2010) with music, dancing and the crowning of the Carnaval Queen, which led up to the burning of the Bad Humor Man. The Malecon was lined with kiosks, food puestas and carnival rides. A good turnout, despite recent economic hardships of local businesses, browsed the various bontana stalls and enjoyed the festivities.

Dancers entertained the crowd with traditional high-stepping, the women festooned with flowers and lace, the men in classic cotton paisano outfits. The skill of the troupe was impressive and included a dance where the women balanced glasses on their heads.

Prior to the burning of the Bad Humor Man, a poem was read, a very long poem -one that made Milton's Paradise Lost seem like a limerick. But finally the fuse was lit and the effigy exploded into showers of sparks. As the rockets and cohetes mimicked a Prussian fusilade, the flames finally reached the core of the paper figure and its heart suddenly exploded like an Aztec sacrifice and showered the ground with bits of red crepe and twigs. The concussion of the unexpected report was like a fist to the chest and several people reeled back from its effect.

This year's Carnaval is somewhat abreviated. There will be parades on Saturday and again on Sunday, when the holiday ends, a few days shy of the traditional dates, allegedly owing to budget cuts.

So put fresh batteries in your cameras and join the crowds. Who knows how many Carnavals are left in these trying times.

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Carnaval Photos
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