Imagine being a kid and having the entire city you lived in take part in a massive water fight…

The February(ish) celebration of Carnaval in Cochabamba was always fun times for us!  Basically, the city turns into one GIANT water fight.  Everyone is a target.  It is recommended that you don’t drive with your windows down…or else you just might get a bucket of water thrown in or a water balloon may come zinging in the window.  The celebration surrounds a religious festival….it is during the season leading up to Holy Week, but I never knew why the water fights were a part of it.  It really didn’t matter to me as a kid, it was just fun to participate!  Devil dancers and costumed paraders lined the streets, traditional music (with great andean musical instruments) blaring…

I can remember looking forward to Carnaval and planning out the strategy of targeting as many unsuspecting folks as possible!  First you’d buy your stash of water balloons and plan on where your “base” would be.  You’d work together with your friends.  One person filled the balloons as full as possible but not too full…there was a science to getting the balloons full enough that they’d break upon contact and shower the target/person with water vs. not full enough so that they’d just bounce of the person!  It was tricky!  The other person would tie the balloons and place them in water filled buckets…somehow the water protected the balloons from breaking prematurely.  Then you’d move to your designated throwing location – maybe a balcony. That was fun, you could hurl the balloons at the poor pedestrians below who had to brave the streets for some crazy reason.  Or, you might be really creative/mean and actually dump buckets on the heads of passers by below.  Or, you’d hide behind the corner palm tree and time your throws into car windows of the cars of the foolish drivers who forgot to roll their windows up.  The possibilities were endless.

As a kids, this was a holiday that you looked forward to all year!  I think most adults dreaded it, but we didn’t!  It was great fun…until mean people decided to fill up their balloons with sewer water….ew!

I found this great article that describes this crazy time of year….anyone want to go down there with me next February?


About cakboliv

Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia to wonderful missionary parents, Howard and Maxine Morarie. Grew up in Bolivia, both in a remote jungle village

One response »

  1. Donna says:

    I’m staying away from your throwing arm!

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