Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Fiesta

Due to the worldwide pandemic, all Easter parades and celebrations for Semana Santa, (Holy Week) were cancelled in Spain. This is the most important week in the Spanish religious calendar and has been celebrated for centuries. Since we could not partake in a fiesta this year, I am sharing the parade I attended last year. It was so spectacular, it’s worth a revisit. Enjoy!

Darlene Foster's Blog

Semana Santa, Holy Week in Spain, is the annual tribute of the Passion of Jesus Christ celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods called cofradía and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter. Each place presents a different experience, from very sombre processions to lively spectacles. 

On Maundy Thursday a friend and I went by bus to the city of Lorca, about one and a half hours away, to attend their Easter parade that I had heard was one of the best in Spain. Although rain threatened, it managed to stay away and we were able to watch the three-hour parade without getting wet.

It was an amazing parade, one I will never forget. As usual, the local citizens and brotherhoods went all out with magnificent costumes, fabulous floats and heart stopping entertainment. 

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I am a guest on Sue Vincent’s blog where I write about a fascinating fiesta I attended in a medieval village lit only by candles.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Spain is a fascinating country with many Fiestas, one for every week it seems. These colourful festivals are based on age-old traditions and legends. Some are quite unique. La Noche en Vela, the Sleepless Night, is held every August in the medieval village of Aledo, tucked high in the mountains. I decide I must check this one out.

A bus takes us through dense pine forests and climbs up the winding roads of the Sierra Espuña, in the province of Murcia, to a fortified hilltop town offering gorgeous vistas overlooking the valley. I am immediately transported to another time and place.

We wait in anticipation at the gates of the old town as only so many are allowed in at one time. Once inside the ancient walls, we wander up to the imposing castle tower and the cathedral of Santa Maria la Real in the town square. A…

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Every year for three days at the beginning of February, the city of Orihuela, Spain transforms itself into a medieval town complete with market stalls, soldiers, street entertainers and food cooked over open flames. The Moors and the Christians are both represented as at one time they lived side by side in this area. This year a friend and I took the twenty-minute bus ride to the city to partake in this fun event. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

Our first stop was at a Moorish tea tent, to partake in perfect mint tea and delicious baklava. We even got to keep the tea glass as a souvenier.

I got to pet a camel! Those of you who have read Amanda in Arabia, know how much I love camels.

We watched artisans at work, such as this potter

And this sculpture

And this baker making buns in a medieval oven!

Displays of sturdy ovenware for sale

and colourful graters, perfect for grating garlic, ginger, tomatoes and more

Street entertainers were spotted everywhere.

Medieval musicians

and dancers wound their way through the streets as in days of old.

Even a troll

and other scary woodland creatures

Adults dressed up in their finery

And children got to be a king for a day!

How would you like to buy a suit of armour?

We stopped for lunch at a charming little restaurant frequented by the entertainers!

There were plenty of food stalls with fresh produce

waiting to be cooked over the hot coals, resulting in paella and other mouthwatering dishes

We decided not to have soup with balls.


A handsome Bedouin poses for us by his tent

To catch the spirit of the day, watch the video I took while there. You might feel like you have gone back in time like I did.

There are many fiestas in Spain in the summer. It is impossible to take them all in but one we enjoyed was in Benijofar, a small village not too far from where we live. It was the Fiesta de San Jamie. Why did we pick this one? Our special little friend was taking part in it and we didn´t want to miss a chance to see her perform. The parade was awesome with Princesses, Egyptian mummies, big scary soldiers and smaller not quite as scary soldiers, dancers, drummers, archers, little Turks, bakers and a dazzling performance of Grease Lightning.

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Ready to perform in Grease Lightning, posing on her daddy´s bike.

Some of the stars of Grease Lightning

Some of the cool stars of Grease Lightning ready to show their stuff

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It´s difficult to get good pictures during a moving parade but you can see that all ages participated, including some of the moms as The Pink Ladies. A fun time for everyone.

The Princess in front of her house.

The reigning Princess in front of her house.

A nice tradition is when the main Fiesta Princess is chosen, the front of her home is decorated so everyone knows a Princess lives there. She greets the passersby before the parade starts.

A Princess with her escourt

Another Princess with her escort ready to be taken down the red carpet to join the parade.

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Fascinating dancers entertained us while parading through the streets

Medieval soldiers

Medieval soldiers

You would´t want to mess with these fierce female warriors

You wouldn’t want to mess with these fierce female warriors

 

An archer ready for battle

An archer ready for battle. Does he think I am the enemy?

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These soldiers weren’t as threatening.

Little Turks, so cute

Little Turks, so cute

More cuteness, the bakers

More cuteness – the bakers

The Mummies are loose

Mummies on the loose

The Princesses

The Princess float

The colourful costumes, the music, dancing, food and drink provided such a festive spirit. You couldn´t help getting caught up in it. A lovely Spanish family adopted me as I tried to get pictures. They made sure my view was clear, gave me a glass of wine and genuinely wanted me to have a good time.  There are large fiestas in the cities but I was glad we attended one at a smaller venue. It was good fun!


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