On Friday afternoon friends started showing up at our house to get ready for the parade. It didn’t actually take that long but of course being Chile nothing happens on time ever, no matter what.
We made it down towards the start of the parade and then started going off in separate directions, interacting with different groups and spectators. Tons of people wanted to take pictures with me… I’m not too popular normally (if I were, that wouldn’t have mattered much anyway because very few people actually recognized me unless I stopped and looked directly at them) but… I’ll have to admit I made a pretty cute payasa for the parade. ;-)
The parade itself lasted foreeeever, as groups would stop along the way to do performances, dances, or special talents. It started at 5 and lasted at least 4 hours.
(my boyfriend and a good payaso friend)
(neat dragon breath photo)
(me jumping in to play Capoeira)
Some of the most impressive groups in the parade are those with extravagant costumes, and those with none at all, i.e. the people who paint their bodies. Everyone looks gorgeous with their bodies painted, but the majority are women… its rather funny to see the huge crowd of men and photographers following them around. The newspapers looove publishing photos of the topless painted girls the next day, which, due to the thick paint, ironically makes them some of the least exposed women that show up in Chilean press.
(Painted bodies- without realizing until I uploaded the pictures, I didn’t even realize I actually took photos of my boyfriend’s cousin and a coworker. So, sorry for putting you half naked on the internet!)
(another group with neat costumes)
After the parade, one of the main streets of Valparaiso turns into a huuuuge party packed with people drinking, dancing, playing music, etc… Its absolutely crazy and stays that way all night. We had to rush off to Vina though because my boyfriend had a performance. It was fun until it lasted though.
[EDIT: The original transferred post continued on to talk about a concert, which was rather disgusting and I am not going to repost]