Today is the Grand CASTILLO, a special FIESTA day in the village. It is the day that the village honors it’s patron saint, as does every MEXICAN village once each year.
In the afternoon, there is a parade up and down the streets. At night the most important part of the FIESTA takes place. All day long everyone waits impatiently for the CASTILLO.
CASTILLO really means castle. To the MEXICANS, it means a special kind of fireworks display that is part of almost every MEXICAN FIESTA. Men have fastened ROCKETS and pinwheels to a light framework which is shaped like a castle. All of the MEXICANS in the village contribute money to buy this CASTILLO.
When it begins to grow dark, the people crowd around. The band plays, the boys and girls wear costumes. At last someone steps forward and lights a ROCKET near the bottom of the CASTILLO. It sputters, then zooms high into the air to burst with a wonderful display of red and green light. The pinwheel catches fire and whirls around and around, sending out showers of white sparks. Then the next ROCKET goes off, and the next pinwheel. One after another all the ROCKETS zoom into the sky. Then darkness settles. The CASTILLO has burned out.
The band plays again and everyone buys refreshments. Nobody is in a hurry. They have had a grand CASTILLO tonight and later they will have another, with eight stories. That CASTILLO will last a long time.
At last the FIESTA is over. There will be another FIESTA soon. All the MEXICAN’S work hard, but they know it is not good to work all the time. They know that FIESTAS are important too. One Mexican says: “To save money with no purpose is foolish. But to save money for a new tractor or for a FIESTA, that is wise”.
(Adapted from a story in “The First Book of Mexico”.)