Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Spanish Fiesta...

This last weekend just gone, it was the occasion of Urcal's Annual Fiesta. As with all Spanish village fiestas, it starts on Friday night and no one gets any sleep until Monday!

The Spanish know how to party. There is lots of loud music and dancing and they wander around the village most of the night, chatting and letting off extremely loud fireworks. In previous years, we have attended but not this year. It doesn't matter what time they show on the posters for the various events, absolutely nothing of any significance happens until about one o'clock in the morning and it certainly doesn't wind down until at least 5 a.m. I can't stay up that late any more! I used to, in my teens and twenties but now, in my sixties, I just cannot acclimatize myself to the Spanish diurnal rhythm. They have their little siesta in the afternoon, especially in the summer months, but, if I try to sleep during the day, I awaken very groggily, wondering what day it is and whether it's morning or evening.

Having said that, sleeping at night is not an option on Fiesta Weekend! We only doze, fitfully, listening to the musical offerings of the night in the distance and tensing ourselves for the next big bang. It's like Chinese water torture!

During the daytime, as the villagers seem to get away with very little sleep, there are children's parties, market stalls, lots of paella and other entertainments. There is also the very solemn occasion of the procession of the Virgin. She is brought out of the local church on her platform and paraded up and down the village High Street. It takes several strong men to hold her up - I don't think she's been dropped yet but it wouldn't surprise me.

I took this photograph a few years ago. I actually won a photography competition with it!

Needless to say, on Monday morning the village is exceedingly quiet. I think most working people have the day off. I'm looking forward to a proper night's sleep tonight!

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