Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Carnival time

As promised, this is a continuation of yesterday's post, about our dual celebration in the village on Monday. By mid-afternoon, the bean-feast in the marquee was over, and most folk had gone home for a siesta. The parade was scheduled for around 5.00 but as everything, all day, had been about an hour behind the advertised times, we didn't rush to get back out. But when we heard the band warming up again we walked across to the plazza where the parade starts. By now the marquee was cleared. the bar was still open but all the trestle tables had gone and the low stage was filled with musical instruments ready for dancing all evening.

There was a lovely atmosphere on the streets with most of the village folk turning out to join in and just have a good time. We saw lots of adults in fancy dress but it is all the little children that I like. Some families really go town like the parents of these three cute little clowns. Even the baby in the pram has his hat on to match his little brother and sister. We saw some carriages pulled by lovely pairs of dark-coated mules. Just look at the size/length of their ears. They were following the town band around the streets. But the main parade was led by another group of musicians who had cobbled together a creditable mobile drum kit to keep the beat going, ably accompanied by a mixture of percussion, brass and wind instruments. On one stop we had an improptu limbo game under the sliders of the two trombones. They were followed by groups in a range of costumes. Pac man seemed to be popular this year. This is just one of about three sets of them. Of course, a lot of the folk in the parade wore masks, and this was one of the best ones.

These circus performers were colourful, as was this group of little children. Some of the smaller ones look a bit bemused as though they are not quite sure what is going on.

For some reason carnival is seen as a time for grown men to dress as women and generally be as silly as possible. This vision of loveliness is Paco, a local electrician. Here is a group of men dressed in sheer tights and very skimpy, thin nylon tunics, and they were freezing! The one on the left of this group is Pedro, who owns/runs the village farmacia, with his son, Pedro pequeño, (little Pedro!) At the end of the parade there were several groups connected with the Knights Templar. They had made a huge,very impressive crossbow, and also this equally impressive battering ram.

We joined a big group of people who mingled with, or followed the paraders, as they walked around all the little back streets of the village, and then made their way back to the plazza. Every so often they stopped to have a sing and a dance, or to throw hoops, balloons and egg shells filled with paper confetti at anyone within range.

It was getting late, and growing chilly in the shady streets that were too narrow to catch the last rays of the sun. We were quite cold by the time we got back to the plazza, and I was glad I had put a light jacket on. So we went home to have some soup for tea, and left the enrgetic ones to the dancing. We knew we would hear the music anyway, especially in my craft room which looks out over the back to where the marquee was. As we walked home the setting sun lent a lovely pinky-purple hue to 'our mountains'. They looked so lovely and we both thought how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place.

I have squeezed as many photos as I can into this post but you can see the rest of them on my photo gallery if you click here.

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