On the 24th of December there is a massive Christmas parade through downtown Cuenca.

On the 25th of December, the day officially celebrated as Christ’s birthday, there is a much smaller and simpler celebration at the New Cathedral across from the Parque Calderone.

Entering the park, you see people gathering in front of the Cathedral. In the street are decorated cars, children with angel wings seated on saddles, and a band of old men in suits, white shirts and ties waiting to march with trumpets, saxophones and trombones.

Coming out of the church, is a small doll carried on a platform supported by the broad backs of men and women.

As the doll is carried from the darkness of the church interior, into the sunlight, believers throw rose pedals in the air and make way for a procession.

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and Easter celebrates his conquering of death.

The carrying of a doll out of the New Cathedral is Catholicism. Romans worshiping Caesar must have felt much the same as they watched him being carried through his city in much the same way.

The big difference is Caesar couldn’t promise life after death.

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