Customs & Fiestas

Preparing for the
Globo Races

  After we reached our new home alongside Lake Chapala, Lorena collapsed for a much needed rest. I did manage to pry her out of the house on the 15th of September, Mexico’s Independence Day. (Which is the 16th of September, but for reasons entirely Mexican, is actually celebrated the day before.)

The event that drew us was the annual race of globos -- large, homemade balloons that are sent thousands of feet aloft by the hot air from flaming kerosene-soaked rags.

Racing globos is a thoroughly Mexican pastime: ingenious, colorful, and highly flammable, with a strong likelihood of minor injury to bystanders.

"Slackers" David McLaughlin (Mexico Connect publisher) & Lorena watch the Globo races from the peanut gallery.
The construction of a globo is simple but time-consuming. Long narrow sheets of very thin papel de china (tissue paper) are shaped and glued together to make colorful balloons several feet high. At the bottom of the globo, a loop of very thin wire forms a round, open mouth.

The flattened, folded globo is taken to the local soccer field and very carefully opened. If the tissue paper won’t separate easily, the globo’s maker may fan air into the mouth, to partially inflate the balloon. Once the globo is more-or-less open, the “engine” has to be mounted inside...

...Continue with Globos Igniting
©1972-2000 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens
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