Monday, November 10, 2014

Prancing horses and candy apples - a traditional Nicaraguan "hipico"

     Enjoy this little sample of Nicaraguan culture, my video of the hipico held yesterday in the streets of Managua not far from our house in the Bolonia district.
     Apparently the display of dancing horses has become associated with celebrations in August that recognize Managua's patron saint, Santo Domingo de Guzman. But this is November, and I never could find anyone who could explain why there was a dancing-horse parade on at this particular time.
    But what the heck. It was pretty cool to watch, and never mind that events started about two hours late and the light was fading fast by the time the parade ended (the sun sets at around 5:30 p.m. in this part of the world). Or that nobody seemed much moved to stop the flow of cars during the parade, which meant the prancing horses were intermingled with motorcycles and only slightly sheepish looking drivers throughout the event.
     An impressive number of booths were set up along the roadside selling cheap beer and rum punches, but they never looked as busy as I'm sure the vendors would have liked. Another cultural puzzle: Why was there so much seating for people drinking beer, but none for those who wanted a rum punch? And did the pretty young woman trying to sell Smirnoff Ice slushies even sell one of them? We were posted right across the street from her and could only speculate that the absence of sales was about the price - 80 cordobas (more than $3) as compared to 20 for a beer and 60 for a very generous trago of rum and luridly coloured juice of your choice.
     I was delighted to discover that cheap candy apples appear to be part of the cultural fun here. They sell them for 10 cordobas - less than 50 cents - and they are yummy. 

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