The traditional “Festival de las máscaras” Hatillo Mask Festival is celebrated on December 28th in the town of Hatillo, Puerto Rico. Both my son and I were there to see the “caravana” of floats with giant speakers, decorated jeeps, and cars blasting their music. The participants wear very elaborate and colorful costumes and meshed masks. The streets and main roads are closed to general traffic. They walk down the streets all in good fun they start squirting you with water, shaving cream or whatever else they may have. Guess who got wet? Both my son and I! I was running away attempting to cover my DSLR camera so it wouldn’t get wet. It was fun! (Check out the YouTube video below). The festival continues throughout the day. Food vendors, artisans, and music can be enjoyed by all with a procession finalizing at the town’s plaza. How did this tradition get started? It dates back to 1823 when the settlers from the Canary Islands founded the town of Hatillo. The festival remembers the first Christian martyrs or Holy Innocents (Santos Inocentes). Based on the Bible book of Matthew where it is recorded that many baby boys under the age of three years were murdered as commanded by King Herod in his quest to kill baby Jesus.
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