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Last year we spent Christmas in the San Francisco Bay Area and missed the" Pase del Niño Viajero" procession through Cuenca. I remember folks saying, "Oh no, you're going to miss the best part of the year!" At the time, I had no idea what they were talking about, but after experiencing it for ourselves today, we did miss a BIG DEAL!
There's really no way to describe the entire parade unless you experience it personally. And if you're planning a visit to Cuenca, I suggest you book ahead and make sure you're here during Christmas Eve -- worth the extra price tag that you might have to pay.
I did a little research on the Pase del Niño Viajero and found out that only in Cuenca is it possible to see this wonderful pagentry. Frommer's describes it this way:
"The annual Pase del Niño Viajero procession weaves through Cuenca on Christmas Eve. The angel of the guiding star heads the procession, followed by the Magi, shepherds, dancers and a statue of Baby Jesus - the Niño Viajero, 'travelling child'. A statue of Baby Jesus that was taken to the Holy Land, blessed by the Pope in Rome and returned to Cuenca in 1961is the focus of these Christmas Eve festivities. The procession is one of a series of Cuencan Pasadas that involve representations of the newborn Jesus, beginning on the first Sunday of Advent and continuing until Easter."
What a great way to celebrate Christmas Eve!
Blessings and Joy,
Connie, Mark and Mocha