Folklore in Masaya

Continuing our travels in Nicaragua, we visited the village of Catarina for breathtaking views of Laguna de Apoyo

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… and soaked up the atmosphere on the streets of Granada some more…

… before jumping on another local bus to Masaya, “Capital of Nicaraguan Folklore”…

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… where we wandered around the artisan market, resisting the temptation to buy a beautiful hammock…

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… watched the sun set behind one of the many churches in town…

fullsizeoutput_f79… and fortified ourselves with what is becoming a staple for us in Nicaragua: tostones with local fried cheese – this time with plenty of fresh vegetables and a vibrant batido.

We visited a folklore museum to find out more about the local traditions, particularly  Los Agüizotes, an annual festival which takes place on the last Friday of October each year. People dress as spirits of the dead and macabre characters from local legends parade through the streets of Masaya.

La Llorona (The Weeping Woman), according to the legend, was a young, beautiful indigenous woman, who fell in love with a Spanish conqueror. When he had to return to Europe, La Llorona, having given birth to his child, was so distressed that she threw the baby in the river. She wanders by the river forever, weeping and looking for her child.

La Cegua, according to the legend, is a beautiful woman who tempts travellers on solitary roads, asking them to take her into a nearby village. Once she is closer, however, her face transforms into the putrefied face of a horse.

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With these legends (and many more) in mind, we took to the streets at night…

The atmosphere was not spooky but joyous, with much food, drinking, music and fancy dress all over town – a curious mix of ghosts of the local legends, Mexican Day of the Dead face paint and Halloween outfits. The party was still going strong when we retired at midnight, needing some rest before we travel to the southern Pacific coast for three weeks of yoga…

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