(Photo credit: CasaQ) #BalloonFiesta2017
I've been saying that I am going to treat my stay here in New Mexico like one long vacation, and one of the things on my list to do was go to the Mass Ascension of the local balloon festival and I did! The hubby and I had to get up at O'Dark Thirty so that we could get to the field and find a decent place to post up before the activities started at 5:45 A.M. I'm a morning person, but getting up at 3:30 so that we could leave at 4:15 was early even for me. It was dark, cold, and crowded at the Fiesta Balloon park, but it was worth it for me.
This balloon festival is different from some, because you can actually stand around the balloons as they are inflated, so you get up close and personal with them. They even encourage people to go around to the balloon pilots and have them sign the fiesta books if you want. I didn't do any of that because I didn't want to loose our choice spot. AND as I mentioned before it was cold and dark for the first couple of hours.
There were plenty of state fair like food vendors as well as vendors selling novelty items and memorabilia galore. The prices were just as high as you would expect too! But then again, you have to expect to pay through the nose for a small cup of hot chocolate and a cinnamon role the size of a dinner plate! If you are in the Albuquerque area or plan on being in the vicinity during one of balloon fiestas, I would recommend going to check it out. The hot air balloons really are mesmerizing. I'm not sure if I want to go up in one, but it does look like a very cool thing to experience.
I hope that you enjoy the short videos and pictures from our day out at the Balloon Fiesta. If you are interested in the festival you can check out Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2017 for more information.
Yep, that Darth Vader and Yoda!
I looked up via Wikipedia the meaning of the Zia sun symbol on the New Mexico flag. From the little research that I did just through a Google search, it appears that there is some controversy over the Zia sun symbol being appropriated for the New Mexico flag. The Zia community was not consulted about their sacred symbol being used for the flag and state symbol back in 1925 when it was adopted. There doesn't seem to be any legal recourse for the Zia to be compensated either. But I did find what the Zia sun symbol represents. According to Wikipedia:
The Zia regard the Sun as a sacred symbol. Their symbol, a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions, is painted on ceremonial vases, drawn on the ground around campfires, and used to introduce newborns to the Sun. Four is the sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the four points radiating from the circle. The number four is embodied in:
the four points of the compass (north, south, east and west);
the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter);
the four periods of each day (morning, noon, evening and night);
the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle years and old age); and
the four sacred obligations one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of others), according to Zia belief.
The Zia Pueblo also has an information page that you can visit here.