Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Day of the Cross



This weekend all over Spain they are celebrating The Day of the Cross. Christianity simply took over the old pagan festivals and overlaid them with their own so we can be sure that we are celebrating a festival thousands of years old... perhaps even back as far as the dawn of humanity.

This weekend in England, the Morris Men will be out in force, jingling their way through the villages, dancing outside the pubs and in the village squares, bringing good fortune, welcoming in the summer as they have done for centuries... In my own village in England the May pole will come out tomorrow and the young girls and boys of the village will dance in the village square. Well the day of the cross here in Spain is pretty much the same kind of thing...


The villagers dress up in their best and go to church first. The church service is hardly listened to by the throng of people inside all chatting at once about what they are wearing and who has come and who has not... so much so the priest had to call for silence and a little respect... he is only listened to momentarily and giving up, he just continued regardless of the general hubub. The cross is blessed and taken up to be carried through the village.


We had a lunch time drink at the bar and then waited outside for the parade to arrive. We could hear the band getting closer and closer... it wasn't long before the cross arrived...


.... carried shoulder high by four strong young men with the prettiest girls in the village on their arm. The girls are dressed in traditional Andalucian costume, some of the older women of the village have also dressed up...



and you all know how much I love costumes... especially the mantilla (the large comb that supports her lace veil)... mmm... I might have to get myself one of those....


The cross is carried through all the streets of the village and as it passes, people join in the parade, including us. Every so often the cross stops at a decorated house and the young men and women dance together for a few minutes before taking up the cross again and continuing on their way. The passing of the cross is a blessing on the houses.



We finish back at the church where this pageant began and there is some more dancing and then everyone goes round to a marquee behind the church where refreshments and food are supplied. Free beer for everyone,



.....free paella and free sangria... as much as you want... it's Fiesta time...


The sun is shining but there is a cool breeze and everyone is in party mood. We stayed only a couple of hours although the party will go on right through to the wee small hours...

We are making sure that my daughter gets plenty of rest... we would prefer not to have to rush to the hospital on a fiesta weekend... and since someone has to be able to drive alcohol consumption is also rationed... but never mind... we have a much bigger fiesta to come once baby arrives....

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful photographs, fabulous costumes, you and your daughter look very happy.

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  2. It looks so beautiful there, glad things are going so well! Oh, the costumes are just delicious!!!

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  3. One of my work colleagues has a small place in Spain and he says that the local festivals are always good fun.
    He also says that although the festivities tend to be pretty alcohol fuelled, there is none of the drunken unpleasantness and hostility which one would expect in Merrie Englande.
    Ah well...

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  4. The costumes are so pretty! Free beer, free food, free sangria....sounds fantastic :o)

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