Bet­ween Re­li­gious And The Heat­hen

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas (Centroamerica) - - Traditions - By: Ni­dia Blan­co Pho­tos: Cour­tesy of IPAT

And to the beat of clic­king cas­ta­nets, the dirty little de­vil dan­ced and dan­ced as if it we­re ne­ver going to stop. The un­mis­ta­ken sound of his cas­ta­nets mel­ted in­to the rhythm of his tap­ping shoes and the thum­ping blad­der.

That’s what the Cor­pus Ch­ris­ti ce­le­bra­tion is all about in the city of Pa­ri­tas. The party goes on for 60 days fo­llo­wing the Eas­ter Sun­day with a view to ce­le­bra­te Eu­cha­rist and step up faith in Je­sus Ch­rist.

Re­si­dents of Pa­ri­tas mix re­li­gious and pa­gan ce­le­bra­tions. The ob­ser­van­ce kicks off with Mass at the Pa­ri­ta sh­ri­ne, fo­llo­wed by the Holy Pro­ces­sion and dif­fe­rent dan­ces that add plenty of co­lor­ful­ness to each and every pre­sen­ta­tion. Du­ring this two-month­long ce­le­bra­tion, dif­fe­rent groups are in­tro­du­ced to the pu­blic: the Mon­te­zu­ma Es­pa­ño­la Pa­ri­te­ña, the clean little de­vils, the dirty little de­vils, the dan­ce of Cum­bem­be and the dan­ce of To­ri­to Gua­po.

This ce­le­bra­tion harks back to the 16th cen­tury and in Pa­ri­tas the tra­di­tion has been han­ded down from one ge­ne­ra­tion to the next. It’s said that Do­mi­ni­can priests we­re the ones that brought the Cor­pus Ch­ris­ti ob­ser­van­ce to Pa­ri­tas, to­get­her with the dan­cing. And even though so many years ha­ve go­ne by, the ce­le­bra­tion still pre­ser­ves the same kind of mu­sic and the motley cos­tu­mes the dan­cers wear.

The dan­ce of the little de­vils usually stri­kes the attention of at­ten­dees. The­re are dirty and clean little imps –the lat­ter stand for the pre­vai­ling of good over evil. The main cha­rac­ters are the an­gel and the ten little de­vils that wear gaudy han­kies for their dan­cing.

Vi­si­tors from ot­her re­gions can join the ce­le­bra­tion with the lo­cal re­si­dents be­cau­se or­ga­ni­zers al­ways plan a pa­ra­de for tou­rists.

This par­ti­cu­lar ce­le­bra­tion is equally ob­ser­ved in coun­tries li­ke Aus­tria, in so­me parts of Ger­many and Swit­zer­land, in Bra­zil, the Do­mi­ni­can Re­pu­blic, Croa­tia, Po­land, Tri­ni­dad & To­ba­go, and Por­tu­gal. In Pa­na­ma, the party is al­so held in ot­her ci­ties li­ke Vi­lla de los San­tos, but ac­cor­ding to so­me Pa­na­ma­nian his­to­rians, Pa­ri­tas was the first town whe­re the Cor­pus Ch­ris­ti ce­le­bra­tion first took pla­ce.

At only 148 mi­les from Pa­na­ma City, in the coas­tal area of the Pa­ri­ta Gulf, an arid and in­hos­pi­ta­ble lands­ca­pe ma­kes tra­ve­lers be­lie­ve they are in the midd­le of a de­sert. That little nook har­bors the Sarigua Na­tio­nal Park and its highly sa­li­ni­zed con­di­tions

The peo­ple of Pa­ri­tas nou­rish on a cul­tu­ral past tee­ming with eth­nic and re­li­gious ri­ches, traditions that gi­ve this town a per­so­na­lity and a cha­rac­ter of its own.

The­re are dirty and clean little imps –the lat­ter stand for the pre­vai­ling of good over evil. The main cha­rac­ters are the an­gel and the ten little de­vils that wear gaudy han­kies for their dan­cing. San­tos’ com­mu­nity ta­kes pla­ce every year the fis­tas of the Cor­pus Ch­risty

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