Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fireworks a la Mexicana

To quote a fellow cruiser, fireworks in Mexico are a spectacular sight completely unencumbered by things like, say, safety. We've had two such experiences over the last two weeks. Interestingly, one was Catholic, one Jewish.

The first close up of fireworks we experienced was in Melaque, a town next to Barra de Navidad, whose patron saint is St. Patrick. It's no wonder, then, that the festivities leading up to St. Patrick's Day are not to be missed. We got to the town square around 7 p.m. for dinner, and then proceeded to the rides that are set up, much like a county fair. We decided to take a turn at the bumper cars, which seemed to be unintimidating for starters. I rode with Danielle as driver, and Harrison drove with his friend Marcus (SV Journey). It turns out that the ride was anything but unintimidating. This ride went on and on. And then on and on. And then on and on some more. Not the usual 60 second ride we get back home. I kid you not: this ride went on for at least 20 minutes. And I was ready to get off after about two. There are no barriers surrounding the ride, and I kept holding my breathe as I saw a young child leaning over the edge the entire time. There were of course no seat belts. Every time Harrison's car hit someone else's, he and his friend went flying into the air about 3 feet (he loved it though). Danielle's giggles were contagious to say the least, but really, after two minutes I was ready for it to end. I think Michael got more laughs watching me look at my watch than at anything else. I kept looking for the ride operator to ask how long it was going to continue, but he was too busy first texting on his phone, then talking on his phone, then showing his phone to his girlfriend, and then, hey, where did he go??? He disappeared for a good several minutes, at which time I really started worrying that Harrison would be thrown from his car and no one would be there to stop the ride. After that one ride, I had had enough. I found out afterwards that I should consider myself lucky, as others claimed they had been on the same ride with people actually getting on and off the ride in the middle of the cars bumping around. Ahhh, it's great to be in Mexico.

The fireworks started at around 10:30 p.m. They are built onto a tower that has about 8 sides to it, each side with three fireworks wheels that spin. When a side is done and the three fireworks wheels have burned out, the tower turns to the next side for the next set of three wheels to spin. These fireworks would spin with embers flying into the crowd. People hold boxes on top of their heads to avoid getting burned. At the end, a helicopter of fireworks at the top of the tower spins until it flies into the air, and then comes shoooting down into the crowd! Watch the video at the bottom of this blog post - do not stop it when you think it is over, as that is when the helicopter lights up and shoots into the air.

But that's not all. After the tower is finished going off, the crowd disperses really quickly as the human bull runs into their midst, with fireworks strapped to his body. Yes, it feels a little like a suicide bomber. He chases people around as his body fires off colorful sparks that land everywhere. We got smart and headed for a cab immediately, but the sparks came a little close to the gas tank for my comfort. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Our second fireworks experience was this past Saturday night as we were anchored in Las Hadas, in Manzanillo Bay. To our surprise, there was a huge Jewish wedding being held at the resort here, and we watched the fireworks being set up on the beach. The harbor master sent a message to all the boats and asked them to anchor further out as he was worried that the embers would fall on the boats and set us on fire. Most of us did follow his advice although a few decided to stick around for the excitement. Whether anchored just off the beach or further out, however, most did water down the decks and  sail covers/canvas just in case. We also got buckets of water ready as well as our hose. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. And then we fell asleep. Until at around 12:30 the fireworks began. They enveloped one of the boats just off the beach but apparently there was no damage. A couple of boats found red plastic chunks on their decks the next morning, but that seems to be the worst of it. Unless you count the fact that the music went on until 5:30 in the morning.

I did, however, love singing along to Hava Nagilah, David Melech Yisroel and Simin Tov U'mazel Tov, eventhough my entire family went to sleep and didn't feel much like joining me.

-Signing off from Las Hadas, Colima, Mexico


  1. What fun you must have all had...and those fireworks, what a sight! Loved the video also! I guess lack of restrictions and laws sometimes add to the excitement. Does Mexico have a lot of fires??? And, do you think you'll take a break from bumper cars for a while.
    I actually would have expected you to join the wedding...surprised you didn't...
    Keep on to you all...

  2. I definately would have sang with you...we could have started a hora on the dock!
    So nice to see a blog post. Been wondering what is up with you guys.
    We have a full house today with Hannah, SAmmy and 3 girlfriends...lots of giggling. I just hope it stays that way.
    Have you started your pesach shopping yet??! The mayhem has begun here. 26 for second seder. Hope you guys get here one of these years.
    xoxo to everyone.

  3. I could just picture that whole bumper car scenario. I was laughing reading that one!
    your blogs are great. dont have a lot of time cause i am running into a very early pump class in sydney aus. cant sleep!! that's what happens with a 15 hour time change!
    btw - love the pics for a visual of the fireworks.