The very last day of February is an important one in this area, as it is Día de Andalucia.
This year it started as a wet and chilly day, but we made our way over to the big marquee by the village plaza, where workers had set up a stage and some seating. Behind that, there were rows of trestle tables covered with entremeses (cold cuts of meat, cheese, bread and salads), all covered with paper until it was time to eat later in the day. And around them was the inevitable bar.
We found a vantage point from which to watch the stage, as children and young people from the two dance schools in the village, each did their little show. Some of them were very good.
I was watching my friend's gran-daughter, who is part Portuguese, and she is really learning to hold the correct facial expressions, and use her long hands and fingers in her dancing.
The village choir also sang some songs, and then it ended with the younger dancers singing and dancing to the official song of Andalucia, around the unfurled green and white flag. Apparently this is traditionally done everywhere that celebrates the day. I have tried to add a short video of this. Do let me know if you can't watch it. I am only just learning to work with videos. It is not the best bit of dancing they did, but you get to see some of the emotion it evokes among the local people. As you can see, they start dancing quite young. I love the little dot on the right.
Click here to watch the video.(It is a big file so be patient while it loads and then it should play automatically).
I like the big paintings at the back of the stage. Each panel represents one of the provinces in Andalucia:- Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga and Sevilla.
And the stage was edged with floral arrangements in the Andalucian colours of Green and White.
After that the tables were uncovered and anyone who wanted to, could sit down and share in the meal. By the time we went home, the sun was out, the puddles were drying up, and the little group of stalls outside the marquee were doing some trade.
There was music and dancing in the marquee well into the night, and everyone enjoyed the day despite the weather.
Today was a celebration of a different kind, as, for the English, it was Mothering Sunday. (The Spanish have a different date for this). My little church likes to make this quite special and we are all encouraged to take along a friend. Our congregation started out as 18-20 British folk most weeks, but our numbers have steadily grown, and now we usually have 40-50 people there, including some Spanish families.
To accommodate them, we have added the words of most hymns to the overhead projector, in Spanish, and Sharon translates any major notices, the prayers and the sermon. She is English, but married to a Spanish man, and we are all filled with admiration at the way she translates 'off the cuff' for us.
Today we had around one hundred in the congregation. It was lovely to see out little church so full, and to be a part of the happy buzz of conversation, both before and after the service. Our choir, Cantante, sang two songs which were very well received, and my friend Sylvia and I, were both asked to talk for a few minutes about Motherhood. I was quite nervous because this is the first time I have worked with a translator, but Sharon did a marvelous job for me. I was talking to my daughter-in-law this week and I mentioned I'd been asked to speak about Motherhood. "Shall I just tell them it's a walk in the park?" I asked. And dear Jo replied. "Of course. Motherhood is just walk in the park...but quite often it's raining"! Sums it up pretty well really!Anyway, it went very well, though there were a few tissues needed as we spoke.
Two little girls chose to dance to show their love for Jesus. Julie sang for them while Robin quietly played his guitar. The taller girl on the left is English, and the one on the right is Romanian-Spanish. They live quite a distance from one another, but have become firm friends through coming to our morning service each week.
After an excellent sermon by a retired Elim preacher who lives in Rhyll, but spends several months each year out here with us, we all joined in with a bring and share lunch. All the men in black, and the ladies with a pink or green scarf, are members of the choir.
It was a lovely service, and just before the lunch, all the women were given a petunia plant. This one is mine. Isn't it pretty? Then we came home to find Mother's Day messages from the boys which was a good way to end the celebration.