December 8, 2009
Blessing of the Waters Day
This religious observance involves a Catholic priest throwing a cross into the icy ocean waters. Whoever is sturdy enough to fetch it out supposedly wins good luck for him or herself for a year.
Although most people in Uruguay are Catholic, the nation is rated the most secular country in Latin America, according to Wikipedia. More than one quarter of the population is considered “nonbelievers,” and another 10% of the people are believers with no religion. Church and state are separated; there is no official religion, and freedom of religion is guaranteed.
The country is also considered one of the most developed and most economically stable countries in South America, and it and Chile have the least corrupt governments in Latin America. The standard of living is quite high, and life expectancy is as well. It's one of the most-est and the best-est on the continent!
No wonder it has a smiling sun on its flag! The sun is called “Sol de mayo” or the “Sun of May,” and it represents the May Revolution of 1810, the beginning of independence from Spain; it is said that the sun broke through the clouds when the revolution was announced, and this was seen as a good omen. The nine stripes on the Uruguay flag represent the original nine departments (like states) that the nation was divided into. The nation now has 19 departments.
Color an Uruguay flag found here.
“Blessing of the Waters” is also called “Beach Day.” One of the most developed beaches is called Las Grutas. There is live music, an entertainment center, internet access, and a gym right there on the beach. Best of all, there are caves to explore. In the largest of these caves there used to be a disco!
Use your imagination to design the best beach resort ever. It would be hard to top Las Grutas, but put your thinking cap on and try! Draw and label a picture “selling” your great beach spot to tourists.
Browse through photos of Uruguay here.