La Nica Navidad

Christmas celebrations are already in full swing in Granada! The neighbors have been setting off fireworks all day and night in the street since before I arrived, and there seems to be no end in sight. December is filled with preparations and processions, and most of the celebrated images are not of Jesus or Santa Claus, but of the Virgin Mary, whose statue has been paraded up and down every street in town. Her image is everywhere, and there it will remain until December 24th, That's the day that Christmas happens here. The 25th is just another day.

 Dancers in Granada, Nicaragua
 Bajada de la Virgen en Granada, Nicaragua

I'm sure being away from New York for the first time will make me a little homesick, but I'm looking forward to seeing all the holiday fanfare from a different cultural perspective. I only wish I had more room in my suitcase for the Santa piƱatas they've been selling in the central square!

 Christmas in Granada, Nicaragua