Thursday 4 February 2016

Spanish News for the English (5)

The 'Spanish News for the English' 2016 is a tongue in cheek service, in support of European Multiculturalism for English Pensionistas (pensioners) Pensionistas who are considering a different type of winter break. This time as an alternative to the more usual break of an ankle, leg or arm due to the inclement UK weather. Contributing further to the previous two postings on weird and sometimes wonderful Spanish festivals.

Spain is full of festivals celebrating the ‘reconquest’ of Spain. Celebrating the return of Christian rule in the country. Which also brought with it the Spanish inquisition. Spain had undergone a very a long period of Moorish rule.

Dateline Alcoy:

Among the most spectacular of these fiestas is the Festival of the Moors and Christians. Which is held every year in the Alicante town of Alcoy. The fiesta comes around each year in late April. In this colourful event the locals, who seem to have more than the usual enjoyment of the Spanish passion for dressing up. Begin re-enacting the battle of Alcoy. The battle took place in 1276 which saw the town ‘rescued’ from the Moors. This is similar to the Iraqis we rescued who were already living in Iraq.

Dateline Sabucedo:

Today's first remarkable fiesta is called 'The Shearing of the Beasts' which takes place in Sabucedo (Galicia) every July. Not so much the Barber of Seville, this fiesta is a bit more Sweeny Todd. The fiesta is reputed to be more than 400 years old. The festival sees hundreds of wild horses rounded up and driven down from the local mountains. The animals are then herded into a small arena. Where the people of Sabucedo seem to lose the plot and what has been described as bedlam ensues. For not only are the horses wrestled into a position where they get a short back and sides applied to their manes. In something of a throwback to the wild west. The horses also get 'hot' branded rather than the more humane 'freeze branding' technique.

Dateline Las Nieves:

As usual, I have saved the best until last. If you are into Goth or Alice Cooper you will feel very much at home at the Festival of Saint Marta de Ribarteme. (patron saint of the resurrection ) This fiesta held each year in July, has something of the morbid about it. Anyone who has experienced an out of body or near death experience can take part. First you will however, need to bring your own coffin with you. You then get to enjoy being carried around the town of Las Nieves. While this is happening, the population consume lots of red wine and set off fire crackers.

Caveat: Due to language difficulties and the unavailability of translation services. There may be one or two small inaccuracies in the news provided.

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