May 1- Worker's Day

May 1 is Worker's Day in Uruguay.  Similar, I believe, to Labor Day in the US except nearly all workers get the day off. All government offices and banks are closed with nearly all shops and restaurants closed as well. Thankfully we were warned of this ahead of time and I was able to get to the Supermercado and bakery yesterday. That in itself should be a post.  People were absolutely everywhere. It was as if the stores wouldn't be open for a week.  

Empty Street- May 1Today was a completely different scene (above). I was out walking throughout the day today and it was like a different world.  Few cars on the streets, barely anyone walking.  I have no idea where everyone went, but it's a great long weekend for most every Uruguayo to enjoy. 

This afternoon as I took Geneva to the park (no injuries, I am happy to report), I noticed that a few restaurants had opened and they were packed.   We cooked at home today, then got the baby to bed, and we had time to enjoy a "Pilsen Stout" (Dark Uruguan beer) and some US television.  Hopefully we'll have episodes of 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother.... if we can get the stream to buffer.  Nonetheless,  a nice, quiet holiday Friday in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Easter in Montevideo

We really had no idea what to expect for Pascua (Easter) in Montevideo.  Brad and I were in Sevilla, Spain for Easter in 1997 and it was a wild celebration with everyone in their Sunday best and parades in the streets.  Uruguay is considered a secular country, unlike its giant neighbors of Brazil and Argentina and most of Latin America, so we figured that the Easter celebrations would be pretty calm here.  Calm is an understatement. People here see holy week as vacation week.  We were advised to get any business done before holy week started because shops would be closing down and people would be leaving town.  That was definitely true.  Some places were closed for the whole week, others just Thursday- Sunday.  What I was very surprised about is that the restaurants were business as usual, and in fact they seemed busier than most normal Sundays.  The beach and La Rambla were packed because it was another gorgeous day.

There were plenty of Conejo de Pascua (Easter Bunnies) in the stores, but it seems like the holiday is celebrated in name and with modern customs only, at least that's all I could see as a tourist-outsider.  Hopefully I'll have more insight into the Pascua holiday in Uruguay next year!