- Posted December 27, 2013 by
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Inside and Behind Gigantic Christmas Kaleidoscopes
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Since 1908, the Fernandinos (as they are called) produce lanterns for Christmas for a local tradition called "Lubenas". Each barrio (neighborhood) creates lanterns for the 9-day novena masses before Christmas. This tradition, carried on almost every barrio, grew as years and decades passed. The designs of the lanterns become larger and more intricate – thus giving birth to the 20-foot lanterns today.
The lanterns are made from 10,000 or more light bulbs wired by electrical wires amid an electric Rotor (large steel barrels that switch and maneuver the lights) using masking tapes and hairpins. Each of these lanterns are being carried by a 12-wheeler truck with the rotors on the back.
All the lanterns compete with each other on the last Saturday before Christmas where they meet in an open area and showcase their patterns of shape and color to the tune of christmas carols, dance hits, and a live brass band.
But these lanterns are not run by a computer in able to display. Inside and behind of the truck are the rotors manually driven with seismograph-like patterns that only the makers of the specific lantern can understand.
Meet the people inside and behind the lanterns and inside the 20-foot kaleidoscopes.