Our buddy the papal MC apparently put the kibosh on the gorgeous gold and purple brocade cope for Vespers. Instead, the Pope wore perfectly normal purple vestments (matching the set everybody else wore). Nothing was said about whether it was a visual consideration or a weight thing. (The Pope is an old guy who’s not fond of wearing heavy vestments at the end of a long hot day.)
However, at the end of Vespers, the Mexicans had the Pope turn on a new lighting system for the huge statue of Christ the King up above town. And that was the signal not just for lighting the statue, but for the release of at least ten minutes’ worth of fireworks.
Lenten. Fireworks. Mostly green, not terribly bright as fireworks go, but definitely fireworks.
You couldn’t be scandalized, really, because it was just so goodhearted a celebration of Christ. (The fireworks over the statue were beautiful.) But it’s not something that would occur to most countries!
I think they were basically trying to have something of their usual festival eve of the feast of the Annunciation (which is celebrated tomorrow, because you can’t have Annunciation celebrated instead of the Fifth Sunday of Lent, even though the feast is very very important). And it was after dark, so technically they were starting Monday and back in happy major solemnity land, instead of in deepest Passiontide/Lent.
Anyway, tomorrow is Cuba, when things get strange and scary. Tomorrow, we go to Passiontide, no matter what the calendar says. It’s been Passiontide since Castro took over, in Cuba.