Let me start by saying that I do not have the writing skills to even come close to accurately describing New Year celebrations in Salinas. I will try to provide you with an overview but please keep in mind that any superlatives that I come up with pale in comparison with the actual events.
It starts to get dark here in Salinas a between 6:30 & 7:00 and the streets are jammed with vehicles and people trying to get wherever they are going. Down the beach always is a large stage with even larger speakers and a beer bar on the beach. Fireworks are going off sporadically and indiscriminately along the beach. At the Alomar apartment building where we are staying there is a patio overlooking the street and beach. Armed with our “Yogi Bear, Poo Bear and Bart Simpson Mucheco’s we claim our spot to watch the festivities .
It’s around 8:00 pm and the main three lane road in front of us is blocked off from vehicle traffic, The people are arriving in droves and the fireworks begin in earnest. When I talk about fireworks, I am not talking about the government controlled, permit required fireworks we experience back home. No, this is the random, indiscriminate, continuous setting off of fireworks along two kilometers of beach. But not just the beach, fireworks are coming from boats, apartments, condo’s, the beach and the streets.
The street and beach is now jammed packed with ten’s of thousands of people. I think all the families, their kids, friends and relatives are all here.the young girls are all dressed in their tightest, shortest stress, three to six inch heels with their male amigos in tow. Everybody is setting off fireworks now, there are the massive explosions of the large fireworks and the continuos release of the smaller fireworks by the people on the streets. You can see four year old kids with these long firework tubes shooting off ten to fifty bursts of flare type explosions.
Muchecos are everywhere, from angry bird, little pony, Spider-Man and huge twelve foot creatures. I feel a little sheepish with my Yogi Bear Mucheco’s but hey, it’s my first time and I took the time to get one. In addition, I went a few hundred metres down the street and purchased some firecrackers from one of the hundreds of street vendors selling fireworks. My fireworks were not to light and throw wherever, no, these fireworks have a higher purpose. I make holes in Yogi and place the fireworks into my Mucheco’s so that when he is thrown into the fire he will blow up as well as burn. This will apparently, assist in me getting rid of all the bad from 2012 and assist with the positive for 2013.
It is almost 11:30 pm, it is like what I envision a war zone to be like but without the bullets. Explosions and fireworks are continuous over the three kilometre section of beach.thousands of people, carrying their Mucheco’s are heading down to the beach. The very large 12′ warrior has been taken down, has been stabbed with holes and filled with bags of firecrackers. A procession of six men carry the monster down to the beach and he is thrown into a pile with hundreds of other Munecos including my Yogi Bear. There are probably forty or fifty huge piles of muchecos on the beach. After 30 minutes of fanfare and piling Munecos the fires start…
Every 100 – 200 metres a huge fire is burning on the beach – it is Midnight 2013 – the fires, the celebration, the non-stop firework are UNBELIEVABLE!!!
Happy New Year from Salinas