Los Alumbrados...the Christmas lights decorating the Colombian cities, every single house, building and street corner....it is an entire industry and an entire obsession related to los Alumbrados in Colombia. It is kind of funny, come to think of it, people don't have bread to put on the table and food to feed the kids, but they wouldn't feel it is Christmas without los Alumbrados !
Although I think it is pretty ridiculous to waste so much electricity and energy for one entire month, I understanmd that for Colombians it would be out of the question to have Christmas without these alumbrados! People don't even care about the electricity wasted and the cost of utilities skyrocketing for 2 months!! In December, every day is fiesta
and starting with the 7th of December they put up lights all over the city and the lights are on every single night til the first week of January.
Medellin is renowned for hosting the brightest, biggest and most beautiful Alumbrados in Colombia. They are specially designed and every year they have a different theme. This year- waves, stars, moon, all along the river plus the most representative figure of every region in
Colombia! There is an entire industry designing, making and installing the Christmas lights, they sell them after usage to other countries in South America and even Europe - Holland for instance.
There are competitions between neighbours and neighbourhoods, the city hall offers big prizes for the houses with the most beautiful alumbraods! So people do their best to decorate the house with the most beautiful lights they can find on the market! And every year they change them or add some more!! From a nice framed house with little white lights which looks absolutely amazing to a disco-looking tacky one is a small step ! I have to hand it to them, some are gorgeous and give you a feeling of Christmas , but there are so many looking like a not so well-famed disco place, that you just look away.
It is pretty crazy, but you have to hand it to them ,it is gorgeous! If you come to accept that everything they do in Colombia is a tiny bit exaggerated and over the top, then Alumbrados won't take you by surprise and you will enjoy them! Even the noise of the fast food vendors are no
los alumbrados de Medellin
spectacular and crazy at the same time!
longer that annoying if you think they are a natural part of the Colombian Christmas picture.
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