Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The celebrations continue

Yesterday I told you about the arrival of the Three Kings, and in many places that is the end of the public celebrations, with today (a Bank Holiday) being spent as a family occasion. But we had been told that it is a village fiesta day in Los Gallardos, the village where our new house is, so we decided to pay a visit and join in the fun. When we arrived, mid morning, we found the village square was set up as the palace of King Herod, and all around it there were stalls selling toys, novelties, jewellry and food, similar to those at the beach front fair last night. We were wandering around these when there was a deal of excitment and the Three Kings came up the street riding on camels (real ones this time).The story of their visit to King Herod was enacted by people from the village in lovely colourful costumes. Of course, we couldn't understand most of the speeches but as we knew the story, we could follow it well enough. At the end lots of local children processed out from the square distributing more sweets to the crowd. The sun was really warm as we stood watching the play, and there was a lovely carnival atmosphere. When it ended we had big plates of roast piglet and 'patats fritas', which was very nice, and we continued to browse the stalls and soak up the sun.
Another attraction was a big brown bear who was there with his keeper. He played a trumpet and did hula-hoop, and then parents paid for their children to be photographed with him. I don't like to see such a lovely wild animal performing tricks, but I have to say he was in excellent condition and was obviously well-loved, and he did not appear to be unhappy about his situation. In fact he seemed to enjoy the attention and played up to his audience.
Around one corner we were greeted by a large 'Simpsons' inflatable which seemed out of place in such a traditional celebrations, but the children were enjoying themselves on it. Next to that there was a huge paella pan over a charcoal fire. The first time we saw it, it was just full of rice and two men were raking it continually as it cooked. Later whole cloves of garlic and spicy sausages were added. Much later it was dished up (free of charge!) to anyone who wanted some. We were already well-stuffed, and were heading for home as dark clouds were gathering, so we didn't queue for our portion. There's always next year!!
Once again I will post more photos on my gallery.

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