Santa Elena,s annual tradition continues its two weeks of festivals for San Mateo the patron saint of Santa Elena .
Yesterday was held another of the well-known traditions dating from who knows actually when… but I am in the process of finding out!
It is the running of the girls known as K,oche .The festivals at this time of year are given by what is known as scocios. A number of families come together about 15 in all and each in their turn provide food, fun and amusement for the towns folk.
The palanque is a table hoisted on stilt like poles with chairs. The amount of chiars depends on how many young ladies will sit upon them .The carriage is adorned with balloons as you see in the photos.
The girls are helped onto the chairs each carrying a bottle of cheap rum which they give to the boys that will carry them.I call them the Machos Barrachos as most have been drinking beforehand to give them the strength to carry the girls…. so they say!!
The band strikes up after the priest has given his blessing to the family for a good harvest which would enable them to continue the tradition another year.
What amused me most about the band was once a lull in the music came, out came the cell phones…… Ah ! I thought, they are like the young ones all over the world with their cells….. how times are changing!
Once ready, after a quick count of 1 2 3 they are off for the running… I was so busy trying to get photos that I nearly got knocked down… I quickly jumped onto the sidewalk to avoid a fall.
They run to the next corner where they rest a short time and probably take a swig of the rum and continue to the next corner with sounds of firecrackers announcing to the people that they are on their way.
It has been known that in the past accidents have occured where the ladies have fallen off…..
The young ladies dismount at the end of the run, in front of another families abode , who have already made the promise to hold the K,oche from their house next year.Then beer, food and refreshments are served to everyone!
Click on the photos to see enlarment .