Where should I even begin?
I’ve said before that fiestas and festivals are a dime a dozen around here. Somewhere in Spain, someone is celebrating something all the time. It’s been my experience that these festivals generally share the following commonalities: there are costumes (usually animal representations and others, well, others that I just don’t understand, with lots of colors and sometimes some random baby dolls…), there is always some sort of procession or parade, there is always a bar somewhere nearby, there always seems to be music (normally bagpipes and tambourines), and there is always a lot of waiting around (schedules mean very little in this country).
This past Saturday we went to a festival with all these things in the town of Piasca, which is a super duper (like population 2000) small town situated near the Picos mountains and not far at all from Potes (the scene of the Orujo festival). It was a festival much like one we had gone to in a different town last year when I was here, of which I didn’t have such fantastic memories – it was like 40 degrees and raining and there were thousands of people so you had to fight to see what was going on, AND the next day I got on a plane back to the states and fell deathly ill for a week. So I was a little scarred.
It only takes a little over an hour to get there from here, so we were there at the start of everything at about 10:30 in the morning. It was a beautiful day and with the backdrop of the snow capped mountains, and notably fewer people (I actually thought it was only going to be me and C…but eventually more folks turned up), it was already more promising.
Anyhoo. You should check this out to learn more about La Viajanera (which is the larger version of this that we went to last year) and the symbolism of all the characters and what happens. I could write it all out here, but let’s be honest, I’m generally more interested in people watching and just taking in all the things that are unusual (like, all of it), and not to mention I’d probably just copy and paste what he wrote anyway. Plus the video in that post is really well done. I digress.
I’ll highlight my favorite moments.
1) There’s this group that walks with these big bells on their back, and with tall ribbony hats. They have to walk with sort of a bouncy stop to make them ring all at the same time.
And there is a guy dresses in a big bear costume in the group. At least I would assume it was a guy? I dunno, but I’d like a few words with him. SO, periodically the bear will find some unsuspecting person looking the other way or not paying attention and attack them, scaring the beJEEZUS out of them. Apparently I’m not only unsuspecting enough to get attacked once (in the morning) but it happened AGAIN later in the day. TWICE. C was videoing the first time and caught it on the sidelines. Hilarious.
2) These guys were making paella for all 200 of us. First of all, I want pans like these. SO FUN. And second of all, it was good.
3) There was a big tent and a ton of people, and I had to pee. So, we asked one of the guys who was dressed in part of his costume (not the whole thing, but was obviously part of the festivities) and carrying plates of paella where I could go. Well, turns out there wasn’t anyplace, so this guy was like “oh, come with me” and walked me around back to his HOUSE. Like, come on in and use our bathroom. Who does that??? And there was a big group of people sitting in the kitchen who were telling me to come in and have coffee with them. I can’t tell you how that made me giggle.
Here are some more pics.
And that was that. It was a really fun day and erased the bad memories I had from the one the previous year that made me sick.
OH, and for your Spanish lessons for the day.
1. I had to go to the bathroom really badly on the way home, so I asked C how to say something similar to “I have to pee like a racehorse.” So he told me “Me meo por las patas abajo.” Which means more like I’m gonna pee down my leg. So I got all geared up to use my new phrase with some friends and spit out “me meo por las patas arriba” because I get arriba (up) and abajo (down) mixed up. So I think I basically said I was gonna pee up my arms, which everyone thought would have been really interesting. Snort. If nothing else, I am good for a few laughs.
2. And for the record “estrechar” is Spanglish for stretch in the Book of Lynne, but in fact in means to shrink. C was a little surprised when I asked him if he had “stretched” after going to the gym. 🙂