`Underwater’ Santa Claus a hit in MexicoDecember 26th, 2011 - 12:22 pm ICT by IANS
Guadalajara (Mexico), Dec 26 (IANS/EFE) Thousands of children and adults visited the zoo in the city of Guadalajara, capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco to see the “underwater” Santa Claus, who dives in one of the fish tanks at the aquarium.
Also known as “Aqua Claus”, the character has become the main attraction between Wednesday and Friday at the Guadalajara Zoo during the current Christmas season, aquarium director Luis Eduardo Quintero told EFE.
“It’s the first time we’ve had this Santa and he’s a big hit with the kiddies, who usually imagine the guy coming out of a chimney,” the official said.
Amid algae, stones and fish, the jolly old Christmas elf sparks laughter, surprise and a whole assortment of emotions among the kids watching him.
With the water at a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius to simulate the the frosty North Pole, Santa Claus with his oxygen tube dives underwater in a fish tank to interact with those watching him for 30 minutes.
The youngsters no sooner see him than they run to the thick glass separating them from the fellow with the floating white beard, who, wordlessly, gets them laughing and jumping up and down with excitement.
Santa stands on his head, acts like he’s on a sleigh ride, waves a golden bell, asks the kids for their letters to Santa listing their Christmas wishes, asks if they’ve been good little girls and boys, shows them drawings to see what they want for Christmas, and even poses for souvenir photographs.
Playing one of the best-known characters in the world can’t be easy, not just because of the water temperature but because he has to wear a special suit, a belt with between 10 and 20 kg of weights so he can sink to the bottom, and, above all, he needs a scuba-diving certificate.
But it’s all worthwhile when you see the kids’ reaction, says Gerardo Espinoza Sandoval, one of the zoo’s three scuba-diving Santas.
“It’s an experience that pays you back because you see the kids’ expression that tells you that we still believe in magic and because it makes you remember when you were little,” the Santa, a veterinarian by profession, said.
The success of the underwater Santa Claus has been so great that the zoo’s administrators are already thinking about the scenery and set design for next year.
Meanwhile they expect visitors with children to flock to the zoo between Dec 25 and Jan 2 on their Christmas vacation.
- 'Arthur Christmas' - Rekindles Christmas spirit (IANS Movie Review) - Jan 14, 2012
- Seven family members commit suicide in Mexico - Jan 13, 2012
- Soccer player suspended for fight sparked by racist insult - Apr 06, 2011
- Mexican group mixes ancestral music with Beatles melodies - Apr 22, 2012
- Virtual Santa comes to visit sick kids - Dec 23, 2010
- Steyn, Morkel to shark dive with World Cup trophy - Nov 08, 2010
- Child prodigy performs with Mexican philharmonic - Mar 06, 2012
- Wreckage of 16th century ship discovered off Brazil - Mar 01, 2012
- India's first oceanarium to come up in Greater Noida - May 05, 2012
- Andy Garcia to direct film about Hemingway - Mar 05, 2012
- German Catholics want to ban Santa Claus - Oct 07, 2010
- Topless Xtina appears in a 'Bionic' avatar for new album - Jun 12, 2010
- Jellyfish can now be kept as tank pets due to new breakthrough - Aug 24, 2011
- Kids in Greece ask Santa for jobs for parents - Dec 24, 2011
- Santa's holiday wish-fulfillment op 'driven by technology, not magic' - Dec 05, 2010
Tags: aqua claus, christmas elf, christmas season, christmas wishes, fish tank, fish tanks, gerardo espinoza, girls and boys, golden bell, good little girls, guadalajara mexico, letters to santa, luis eduardo, main attraction, mexico guadalajara, old christmas, oxygen tube, sleigh ride, souvenir photographs, thick glass