Tonight Billy and I walked down to the main square in Urubamba, where we are staying with a team from Dearborn and North Carolina, to a little cafe for a chance to hang out and a little quiet time away from work teams. On our way to the cafe, we were sidetracked by the crowd that was growing in the main square of Urubamba. After stopping to ask what was going on, we found out that in about 20 minutes, there were going to be fireworks and a band playing to celebrate some sort of festival in the town.
Well, as it is Peru, 20 minutes quickly turned into 2 hours before the fireworks actually started. The firework show we saw tonight would never have been allowed to happen in the States.
The night began with 7 papier-mache bull heads with fireworks loaded on top of them. Each bull head had one person underneath it who ran through the street while the fireworks were going off. We were sitting with the rest of the crowd, just 20 feet from the men running with the fireworks. Each bull started off with sparklers and various colored fireworks, and then quickly turned into shooting fireworks, which frequently landed into the crowd. It could have been described as firework roulette. Definitely not something that would ever happen in the States.
While it seems like the bulls would have been the main attraction, the biggest firework attraction was next. Instead of launching fireworks traditionally like we would do in the States, they had built a tower, or castillo, (castle) of fireworks which were lit one by one. Just as dangerous as the aforementioned bulls, the tower was not even 20 meters from where we were sitting on the steps of the church. Somebody lit the first fuse on the tower and it lit up the sky with shooting sparks and twirling colors. Shortly after lighting the first of six fuses, many little boys ran over to the fireworks and tower to play in the sparks and throw lit fuses and sparklers at each other, which was quite hilarious to watch.
After the firework finale, the band continued to play a few more selections that sound exactly alike and even ended with the same three note progression and people shot some other small fireworks into the sky.
It was a party in Urubamba!