This week in Spanish class we were talking about pinatas and how there are generally no forms of real human characters. Octavio explained that this is a bit grotesque, to beat a real human figure. And, some children have problems when they see others caving in Sponge Bob (Bob Esponja), for example.
At the same time, there is a new year’s tradition described as quemar (burn) “el viejo.” Just to be clear, “el viejo” refers to the old year–not an old man. People make a fabric representation, sort of like a scarecrow, but fill him with fireworks. Just after midnight on the 31st, they throw matches at him and he lights, incinerating the old year.
Many people also fashion a fabric baby (which they do not light on fire). This is the new year.
Sometimes there is a similar public spectacle of burning the devil or political figures as a public demonstration. No surprise that Elba Ester Gordillo has been burned often.
Along the same lines, yesterday in Spanish class we were talking about public exposition of lesser criminals.
Octavio mentioned a poster I had seen on a past walk, but I hadn’t yet stopped to take a photo. I returned last night. It is a wanted poster for a man who has stolen books from the library. While a photograph would be more practical as a way to net this criminal, the drawing is exquisite.