Bull Riding, Equipulas Fiesta, Chilil, Chiapas Watch the video
Last Sunday was the feast day of Esquipulas and we went to Chilil to see their fiesta. I've known a family of albaniles (masons) from Chilil for about 8 years now, but have never visited their village. It's a small village about half an hour from San Cristobal. I figured it was a small village and the festival probably wasn't that interesting
Well, I was wrong. It's a religious feast and there was a wonderful procession where the village elders got in a pickup truck with the Esquipulas cross (Esquipulas is a town in Guatemala where a burning cross miraculuosly fell from the sky in colonial times) and they drove slowly around the village as a large crowd followed them.
After the procession the elders sat at a table outside of the church and drank pox, a cane liquor used in the highlands. There was traditional flute and drum music (pre-hispanic in origin), a German style brass band and a modern rock band, all playing at the same time. A very intense basketball tournament and a soccer tournament were also going on.
But we came to see the bull riding. There's a big corral in town and they brought in one bull at a time to be riden. They tied him to the rail fence and then a large group of men pulled his tail so he couldn't kick and move. The rider mounted him and then they turned him loose. After the ride they would lasso him and them tie him to the fence again so the rider, who was pretty much tied to the bull, could get off.
I met my friends and as it turned out a cousin of theirs was the first rider. Andres has been doing this for a few years and he did a good job. You'll also see Carmen, one of the brothers that I know, sitting on the fence and then entering the ring with a cape to get the bull to move. He's the one with the white shirt.
We'll definately be going back to this fiesta again.
The music is by the brass band that was at the fiesta. Sorry, I didn't get their name.