Monday, December 8, 2008

La Purísima / La Gritería, Nicaragua



A Spanish reporter during la Griteria in Leon Nicaragua
Video part 1
Part 2 Below / Parte 2 abajo

Yesterday, December the 7th was the celebration of La Gritería in Nicaragua. I wrote the following several years ago when I attended this unique celebration throughout Nicuaragua. The First is in English, the Second in Spanish.

English

The firecrackers went off at 6:00 p.m. in the afternoon. For a few moments the Nicaraguan sky was lit up. For the next six hours sporadic firecrackers and fireworks were heard throughout the streets of Managua. If you didn't realize you were witnessing a Nicaraguan tradition that occurs every December 7th at the same time, you would think you were in the middle of a civil war.

La Purísima is one tradition that is uniquely Nicaraguan. No other country has this tradition. The firecrackers announce the start of La Purísima at 6:00 p.m. and it lasts until Midnight. Groups, which include both adults and children, go from house to house shouting what is known as La Griteria "¿Quién causa tanta alegría? Who causes so much joy? And the response, "La Concepción de María" "The Virgin Mary". This is all done in front of self-erected altars built by the occupants of the homes. After La Griteria, the group sings songs to the Virgin Mary from booklets that are purchased for a couple córdobas each. This prompts the occupants of the house to distribute various types of fruit, sugar cane, and other trinkets. At the house where we were staying, over 900 items were given away. This means there were more than 900 people who shouted and sang in front of the altar. I had never seen so many people as I did that night; it was actually quite a spectacle. Many of these altars were elaborately built and it was also evident that there was lot of money spent on the distributed food and trinkets. The Nicaraguan people kept their tradition alive in spite of the economic crisis that currently pervades the Nicaraguan community.

 Español

Los cohetes reventaron a las seis en punto de la tarde, Por unos instantes, el cielo de Nicaragua brilló Durante las próximas seis horas, los cohetes esporádicos y los fuegos artificiales se escuchaban por todas las calles de Managua. Si usted no se diera cuenta de que atestiguaba una tradición nicaragüense que ocurre cada siete de diciembre a la misma hora, usted hubiera pensado que estaba en medio de una guerra civil.

La Purísima es una tradición que es únicamente nicaragüense. Ningún otro país tiene esta tradición. La pólvora anuncia el comienzo de la Purísimia a las seis de la tarde y dura hasta la medianoche. Los grupos que incluyen ambos adultos y niños, van de casa en casa gritando lo que se conoce como La Gritería, "¿Quien causa tanta alegría? Y la respuesta "La concepción de María". Todo esto se hace en frente de los altares a la virgen erigidos por los inquilinos de las casas. Después, los grupos cantan canciones a la Virgen María de unos libritos que se compran por 2 o 3 córdobas cada uno. Los inquilinos regalan a los cantantes productos típicos como matracas, indios, cañas, limones, pitos, y otras cositas. En la casa en donde nosotros estábamos, 900 cosas fueron regaladas. Esto quiere decir que había más de 900 personas que gritaron y cantaron delante del altar. Nunca había visto tanta gente como esa noche. Era realmente un espectáculo. Muchos de estos altares fueron elaboradamente construidos y era evidente también que se gastó mucho dinero en comida y chunches para regalar. La crisis económica no menguó la celebración de La Gritería .



video part 2

1 comment:

Virginia said...

The world is too beautiful, we have to take advantage of that and travel and discover as much as possible. I see you haven't wasted your time... Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Saludos.

 
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