Every year, millions of people decorate their houses for the holidays with lights, creepy yard ornaments, and a healthy amount of competitive attitude. A good chunk of this is about that last part. Who among the decoration-prone hasn't known that tinge of schadenfreude when their asshole neighbor burns a fuse and is forced to settle on a couple of tinkling tinsel wreaths, or felt their heart sink in primal envy when the guy on the other side rolls out his neon-lit, 15-foot Santanator 5000?
Or, does this.
But, what if all that energy could be harnessed in a communal effort? What if all the eager holiday decorators in the neighborhood would join forces and build a huge-ass Christmas float with all the lights and frills their nearest Home Depot has in stock? And what if they would then unleash their natural competitiveness by taking that float against the ones made in other areas?
Such is the deal with central Cuba's Parrandas, a vaguely carnival-like holiday tradition where competing districts parade their elaborately constructed floats in what inevitably evolves into a friendly, joyful street party with fireworks and shit. They've been doing this since 18th century, and, over time, the inevitable competitive nature of the event has blown the floats from simple sticks-and-stones affairs to, well, this: