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Tenerife's Carnival


The Festival:
Tenerife is known for its year-round fiestas and parties, with a comprehensive calendar of events. Amongst the many festivals which take place throughout the year, Tenerife's February carnivals are particularly popular and include parades of decorated floats and an array of competitions.



The capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife stages Europe’s largest carnival and the world’s second biggest outside Brazil. . Over the years, much about Tenerife's Carnaval has changed; the traditional masks have virtually disappeared and costumes have become more elaborate, covering a wider spectrum of disguises and in some cases, not covering very much at all.


The Tenerife Carnival essentially boils down to having fun, throwing out your inhibitions and becoming what - on a normal basis - you aren't; costumes, masks, erotic themes and cross-dressing, for example, compose a huge part of what makes Carnival such a spectacle. It's about enjoying the satirical approach - through costumes, songs and skits - to popular characters, public figures, situations and events in pure, light-hearted fun. It's about partaking in the excess of everything - food, drink, noise, partying, fun - and, above all, it's about fun and entertainment. However, the election of Carnaval Queens still heralds the start of the festivities and the Opening Parade sees them, their Maids of Honour and entourages, being driven through the main streets of Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz accompanied by the traditional ‘murgas’ in clown costume and assorted groups and individuals in fancy dress.
 
The ‘Burial of the Sardine’ used to denote the demise of Carnaval but nowadays marks the half way point on Ash Wednesday; hordes of weeping ‘widows’ follow a funeral cortège for a giant papier mâché sardine down to the harbour where the ‘corpse’ is set alight amidst an extravaganza of fireworks and a cacophony of banshee wailing.
 
Carnaval origins



Born of the Catholic practice of using up meat and dairy products before the advent of abstemious Lent, Carnaval arrived in Tenerife with the conquistadores at the end of the 15th century. When it was sent underground by a Franco ban, and frowned upon by the Church as blasphemous, people started wearing hoods or masks and cross-dressing, in order to conceal their identities. Today Carnaval is just an excuse for an almighty blow-out before Lent and the cross dressing has simply become de rigueur.





The origin of the word ‘carnival’ means ‘farewell to meat’, or ‘to remove meat’ because Lent is a time in which meats, and fatty and rich foods should not be consumed. The Carnival was invented as a way to get together with friends and neighbours and have a massive feast in which all these disallowed foods were consumed so that they were used up before Lent.


Where and When:
Election of Puerto de la Cruz Carnaval Queen:
3 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz Opening Parade:
5 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz Burial of the Sardine:
9 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz 'Put on Your High Heels' Drag Marathon:
11 March 2011
 Puerto de la Cruz Closing Parade:
12 March 2011


Video:

 






Read more
4

Question Time!!!



Hi all!

After describing and selecting some of the most Crazy Festivals of Spain, I want you to give me an opinion about it. I want to find out which of the festivals that I have described have caused more impact on you as well as to know if you would go to any of those festivals. One of my readers suggested to create a ranking with the festivals of my blog and that is the beggining of it! In the 2 first questions you can multiple choice, so there is not only one festival you can choose.
Dont worry, this poll does not mean the end of the blog!! I will keep updating my blog regurlarly and I will include some other festivals as well as a calendar and a map on the main page to give a picture about where and when those festivals are.
So here it is the poll! Thank you so much for your collaboration!

Which one is the festival that you have found more interesting?
La Tomatina / The Tomato fight
Human Towers
Bull Running San Fermin
Las Fallas
Calanda 24h Drumming
Walking over the Fire
The Wine Battle of Haro
El Cipotegato
Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling



  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


To which festival would you definately go?
The Tomato Fight
Human Towers
Bull Running: San Fermin
Las Fallas
Calanda 24h Drumming
Walking over the Fire
The Wine Battle of Haro
El Cipotegato
Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling


  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Has this blog and its festivals changed your opinion about Spain?
Yes
No
Definately, you spaniards are crazy
Not much, I knew quite a lot of those festivals


  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Have you enjoyed reading this blog so far?
Yes
No

  
Free polls from Pollhost.com
Read more
7

Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling



The Festival:
In Sabucedo, a very small town of Pontevedra in Galizian Country where men and recently women realices the traditional “Rapa das Bestas”.
“A Rapa das Bestas” consist in go where the wild horses are into the mountains that sorrounds the town and made they to come back to the town. When the horses are in place, the participants take them into “El Curro”, a stone anfitheatre where the locals cut they hair and clean them from bugs and parasites, also some of horses are marked and registered. “La Besta” is the original wild horse of the mountains of Sabucedo for decades, beeing documentated in a lot of ancient documents as the horses who rided the celtics who lived in this area thousand of years ago.






The History:
In old days horse’s hair was used to make ropes and strings, now is apresent for some of the assistants. During those days Sabucedo have a 4 days party, with typical food and music, concerts and a lot of fun!
When “A Rapa” finished the horses are setting free with the other horses into the mountain waiting maybe for the next year.

Video:





Read more
2

El Cipotegato


The Festival:
Tarazona celebrates its most important festivities in honour of San Atilano in the days following 27th August.
The festivities begin with the appearance of a curious character called “El Cipotegato”.
This character dresses as a harlequin with green, red and yellow diamonds and runs out of the town hall under a shower of tomatoes thrown by the other participants. When he reaches a bronze statue in the main square the festivity officially begins.

The History:
The Cipotegato derives from a burlesque harlequin-type character of the XVIIth century. There is a long list of people who would like to wear the “Cipotegato” costume and names are drawn to decide who it will be.

The name of the person chosen is kept secret until the race has finished. “El Cipotegato” is related to the clowns who in olden days accompanied the Corpus procession carrying a whip to ward off unruly spectators.
The festivity has been declared of special interest for tourists in Aragon.

Where and When:

On the day of St. Atilano, 27th of August every year
Tarazona is 80km from Zaragoza. See the map

Video:


Read more
4

The Wine Battle of Haro


The Festival:
Haro Wine Festival is a festival in the town of Haro in the La Rioja region of northern Spain. It is held every year in the summer on the 29th of June and involves wine drinking competitions and contests and a Batalla de Vino (Battle of Wine)
Inhabitants and tourist celebrate San Pedro's day with the infamous Batalla del Vino on the Riscos de Bilibio hilltop. Tens of thousands of litres of the tasty local Riojan Wine are used as ammunition.
At 9 o´clock in the morning a procession takes place in the streets of the town. At the head is the mayor on horseback with a banner and following him are the citizens of Haro, all dressed in white with red scarfs. They are carrying jugs, bottles, carboys and what ever you can fill with wine. Al ages are participating but the youngsters dominate. They walk or drive to a mountain with a chapel short distances away, where a mass is held.
After the mass "hell" breaks out... Everybody sprinkles wine on each other. The carriers of some sprinkle equipment literally heaps wine on their prey, but that is considered cheating. The tradition says to use botas, the bottles made of leather.
Soon all people have turned pinkish, their hair hangs down and their shoes are soaked. But everybody looks very happy, especially they who are making bonfires and arranging with wine and tapas.

History:
A land dispute with neighbouring town Miranda De Ebro regarding the mountains between them - Montes Obarenes. The dispute dates back to the 10th century. The history of the battle of the wine goes back to 1906.

Rules:
There are no apparent rules, teams, winners or losers. The aim is simple: survival of the fittest and having so much fun!





Where, when and how to get there:
The battle of the wine is held every year on the 29th of June at 9 o´clock in the morning at the Riojan village of Haro.
Haro is located in La Rioja region, about 48km northwest of Logroño. Vitoria is the nearest airport but Haro is well connected with bus with the main Spanish cities.

Video:


Read more
3

Walking over the Fire

The festival:
Each year on 23 June, Midsummer night's eve, this ritual takes place in the town of San Pedro Manrique, in Soria. It consists of crossing the live coals of a meticulously prepared bonfire barefoot. The bonfire is lit at 9:00 at night with 2,000 kilos of oak wood, which burns easily and does not form lumps. At around 11:30, the carpet-like path of red-hot coals is prepared by smoothing them with poles called 'hoguneros'. Young men dance around the fire, and exactly at midnight everything is ready to begin the walk across the carpet. Ten to twelve young men are chosen to do this, and they generally carry someone on their shoulders, since the extra weight avoids combustion. They try to ensure that the coals contain no ashes or hard objects; thanks to these precautions they never get burned.
The brave fire walkers hop barefoot across red-hot coals, without even the slightest sign of burns. The town doesn't attribute the wonders of their unblemished feet to just any old mystical or pagan forces. The town's patron saint, La Virgen de La Peña (the Virgin of Sorrows), is held responsible for this paranormal phenomena.




History:

Some people would say that is a Celtic Rite others a purification rite and others a sun and fire-worship but if you ask to one of the "fire walkers" (or pasadores) about the origin of the fesival, they will simply answer: “It has always been like this” Some people just follow their father’s or grandfather's steps, others just do it as a promise to the Virgen de la Peña, some just do it to prove themselves that they can do it... there are a lot of reasons, but for everyboy in this town the Paso del Fuego is something that belongs to their own identity.


Where and When:
Each year on the midnight of the 23rd to the 24th this rite is held in the amphitheater of the chapel of Virgen de la Peña (Virgin of the Rock) in San Pedro Manrique in the province of Soria. From 2,000 to 4,000 people follow this amazing rite

More Info:

San Pedro Manrique Web site (google translated)

Video:



Read more
1

Calanda 24h Drumming


The Festival:

Once every year, more than one thousand inhabitants of the Spanish village Calanda in the province of Aragon gather around the local church, take up their drums, form bands spontaneously, and start producing more or less arbitrary rhythms. This ritual jamming takes off at noon on Good Friday and ends exactly one day later on Easter Saturday.
For twenty four hours and without pauses or orchestrated compositions, bands of drummers dwell through the streets of Calanda. When one band meets another band, they start duelling, until all drummers find themselves in agreement with a certain rhythm. After their encounter and mutual jamming, the bands move on and prepare themselves for the next battle.

The history:

This tradition, that has been celebrated during Holy Week in Calanda since the middle of the 19th century, was introduced to the world by the town's famous son, the world-renowned film director, Luis Buñuel.

Rules:

Everyone and anyone can participate in "la rompida de la hora" in Calanda. The color is limited to ornamental purple robes and carbines.
Elderly men and women, youth and children of all ages interpret the different rhythms when beating the drums.

Where and When:

"La rompida de la hora" is staged every year on Good Friday and starts at 12 in the afternoon and it last 24h until 12 in the afternoon of the following day.




The village of Calanda in Teruel province, is situated in the center of the region of Aragon. It is easy to get there by car or bus from Zaragoza. Zaragoza is well connected by airport and bus with the main Spanish cities.



More Info:
Calanda web site (google translated)

Videos:



Read more

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tenerife's Carnival


The Festival:
Tenerife is known for its year-round fiestas and parties, with a comprehensive calendar of events. Amongst the many festivals which take place throughout the year, Tenerife's February carnivals are particularly popular and include parades of decorated floats and an array of competitions.



The capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife stages Europe’s largest carnival and the world’s second biggest outside Brazil. . Over the years, much about Tenerife's Carnaval has changed; the traditional masks have virtually disappeared and costumes have become more elaborate, covering a wider spectrum of disguises and in some cases, not covering very much at all.


The Tenerife Carnival essentially boils down to having fun, throwing out your inhibitions and becoming what - on a normal basis - you aren't; costumes, masks, erotic themes and cross-dressing, for example, compose a huge part of what makes Carnival such a spectacle. It's about enjoying the satirical approach - through costumes, songs and skits - to popular characters, public figures, situations and events in pure, light-hearted fun. It's about partaking in the excess of everything - food, drink, noise, partying, fun - and, above all, it's about fun and entertainment. However, the election of Carnaval Queens still heralds the start of the festivities and the Opening Parade sees them, their Maids of Honour and entourages, being driven through the main streets of Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz accompanied by the traditional ‘murgas’ in clown costume and assorted groups and individuals in fancy dress.
 
The ‘Burial of the Sardine’ used to denote the demise of Carnaval but nowadays marks the half way point on Ash Wednesday; hordes of weeping ‘widows’ follow a funeral cortège for a giant papier mâché sardine down to the harbour where the ‘corpse’ is set alight amidst an extravaganza of fireworks and a cacophony of banshee wailing.
 
Carnaval origins



Born of the Catholic practice of using up meat and dairy products before the advent of abstemious Lent, Carnaval arrived in Tenerife with the conquistadores at the end of the 15th century. When it was sent underground by a Franco ban, and frowned upon by the Church as blasphemous, people started wearing hoods or masks and cross-dressing, in order to conceal their identities. Today Carnaval is just an excuse for an almighty blow-out before Lent and the cross dressing has simply become de rigueur.





The origin of the word ‘carnival’ means ‘farewell to meat’, or ‘to remove meat’ because Lent is a time in which meats, and fatty and rich foods should not be consumed. The Carnival was invented as a way to get together with friends and neighbours and have a massive feast in which all these disallowed foods were consumed so that they were used up before Lent.


Where and When:
Election of Puerto de la Cruz Carnaval Queen:
3 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz Opening Parade:
5 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz Burial of the Sardine:
9 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz 'Put on Your High Heels' Drag Marathon:
11 March 2011
 Puerto de la Cruz Closing Parade:
12 March 2011


Video:

 






Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Question Time!!!



Hi all!

After describing and selecting some of the most Crazy Festivals of Spain, I want you to give me an opinion about it. I want to find out which of the festivals that I have described have caused more impact on you as well as to know if you would go to any of those festivals. One of my readers suggested to create a ranking with the festivals of my blog and that is the beggining of it! In the 2 first questions you can multiple choice, so there is not only one festival you can choose.
Dont worry, this poll does not mean the end of the blog!! I will keep updating my blog regurlarly and I will include some other festivals as well as a calendar and a map on the main page to give a picture about where and when those festivals are.
So here it is the poll! Thank you so much for your collaboration!

Which one is the festival that you have found more interesting?
La Tomatina / The Tomato fight
Human Towers
Bull Running San Fermin
Las Fallas
Calanda 24h Drumming
Walking over the Fire
The Wine Battle of Haro
El Cipotegato
Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling



  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


To which festival would you definately go?
The Tomato Fight
Human Towers
Bull Running: San Fermin
Las Fallas
Calanda 24h Drumming
Walking over the Fire
The Wine Battle of Haro
El Cipotegato
Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling


  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Has this blog and its festivals changed your opinion about Spain?
Yes
No
Definately, you spaniards are crazy
Not much, I knew quite a lot of those festivals


  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Have you enjoyed reading this blog so far?
Yes
No

  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling



The Festival:
In Sabucedo, a very small town of Pontevedra in Galizian Country where men and recently women realices the traditional “Rapa das Bestas”.
“A Rapa das Bestas” consist in go where the wild horses are into the mountains that sorrounds the town and made they to come back to the town. When the horses are in place, the participants take them into “El Curro”, a stone anfitheatre where the locals cut they hair and clean them from bugs and parasites, also some of horses are marked and registered. “La Besta” is the original wild horse of the mountains of Sabucedo for decades, beeing documentated in a lot of ancient documents as the horses who rided the celtics who lived in this area thousand of years ago.






The History:
In old days horse’s hair was used to make ropes and strings, now is apresent for some of the assistants. During those days Sabucedo have a 4 days party, with typical food and music, concerts and a lot of fun!
When “A Rapa” finished the horses are setting free with the other horses into the mountain waiting maybe for the next year.

Video:





El Cipotegato


The Festival:
Tarazona celebrates its most important festivities in honour of San Atilano in the days following 27th August.
The festivities begin with the appearance of a curious character called “El Cipotegato”.
This character dresses as a harlequin with green, red and yellow diamonds and runs out of the town hall under a shower of tomatoes thrown by the other participants. When he reaches a bronze statue in the main square the festivity officially begins.

The History:
The Cipotegato derives from a burlesque harlequin-type character of the XVIIth century. There is a long list of people who would like to wear the “Cipotegato” costume and names are drawn to decide who it will be.

The name of the person chosen is kept secret until the race has finished. “El Cipotegato” is related to the clowns who in olden days accompanied the Corpus procession carrying a whip to ward off unruly spectators.
The festivity has been declared of special interest for tourists in Aragon.

Where and When:

On the day of St. Atilano, 27th of August every year
Tarazona is 80km from Zaragoza. See the map

Video:


Friday, 5 November 2010

The Wine Battle of Haro


The Festival:
Haro Wine Festival is a festival in the town of Haro in the La Rioja region of northern Spain. It is held every year in the summer on the 29th of June and involves wine drinking competitions and contests and a Batalla de Vino (Battle of Wine)
Inhabitants and tourist celebrate San Pedro's day with the infamous Batalla del Vino on the Riscos de Bilibio hilltop. Tens of thousands of litres of the tasty local Riojan Wine are used as ammunition.
At 9 o´clock in the morning a procession takes place in the streets of the town. At the head is the mayor on horseback with a banner and following him are the citizens of Haro, all dressed in white with red scarfs. They are carrying jugs, bottles, carboys and what ever you can fill with wine. Al ages are participating but the youngsters dominate. They walk or drive to a mountain with a chapel short distances away, where a mass is held.
After the mass "hell" breaks out... Everybody sprinkles wine on each other. The carriers of some sprinkle equipment literally heaps wine on their prey, but that is considered cheating. The tradition says to use botas, the bottles made of leather.
Soon all people have turned pinkish, their hair hangs down and their shoes are soaked. But everybody looks very happy, especially they who are making bonfires and arranging with wine and tapas.

History:
A land dispute with neighbouring town Miranda De Ebro regarding the mountains between them - Montes Obarenes. The dispute dates back to the 10th century. The history of the battle of the wine goes back to 1906.

Rules:
There are no apparent rules, teams, winners or losers. The aim is simple: survival of the fittest and having so much fun!





Where, when and how to get there:
The battle of the wine is held every year on the 29th of June at 9 o´clock in the morning at the Riojan village of Haro.
Haro is located in La Rioja region, about 48km northwest of Logroño. Vitoria is the nearest airport but Haro is well connected with bus with the main Spanish cities.

Video:


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Walking over the Fire

The festival:
Each year on 23 June, Midsummer night's eve, this ritual takes place in the town of San Pedro Manrique, in Soria. It consists of crossing the live coals of a meticulously prepared bonfire barefoot. The bonfire is lit at 9:00 at night with 2,000 kilos of oak wood, which burns easily and does not form lumps. At around 11:30, the carpet-like path of red-hot coals is prepared by smoothing them with poles called 'hoguneros'. Young men dance around the fire, and exactly at midnight everything is ready to begin the walk across the carpet. Ten to twelve young men are chosen to do this, and they generally carry someone on their shoulders, since the extra weight avoids combustion. They try to ensure that the coals contain no ashes or hard objects; thanks to these precautions they never get burned.
The brave fire walkers hop barefoot across red-hot coals, without even the slightest sign of burns. The town doesn't attribute the wonders of their unblemished feet to just any old mystical or pagan forces. The town's patron saint, La Virgen de La Peña (the Virgin of Sorrows), is held responsible for this paranormal phenomena.




History:

Some people would say that is a Celtic Rite others a purification rite and others a sun and fire-worship but if you ask to one of the "fire walkers" (or pasadores) about the origin of the fesival, they will simply answer: “It has always been like this” Some people just follow their father’s or grandfather's steps, others just do it as a promise to the Virgen de la Peña, some just do it to prove themselves that they can do it... there are a lot of reasons, but for everyboy in this town the Paso del Fuego is something that belongs to their own identity.


Where and When:
Each year on the midnight of the 23rd to the 24th this rite is held in the amphitheater of the chapel of Virgen de la Peña (Virgin of the Rock) in San Pedro Manrique in the province of Soria. From 2,000 to 4,000 people follow this amazing rite

More Info:

San Pedro Manrique Web site (google translated)

Video:



Calanda 24h Drumming


The Festival:

Once every year, more than one thousand inhabitants of the Spanish village Calanda in the province of Aragon gather around the local church, take up their drums, form bands spontaneously, and start producing more or less arbitrary rhythms. This ritual jamming takes off at noon on Good Friday and ends exactly one day later on Easter Saturday.
For twenty four hours and without pauses or orchestrated compositions, bands of drummers dwell through the streets of Calanda. When one band meets another band, they start duelling, until all drummers find themselves in agreement with a certain rhythm. After their encounter and mutual jamming, the bands move on and prepare themselves for the next battle.

The history:

This tradition, that has been celebrated during Holy Week in Calanda since the middle of the 19th century, was introduced to the world by the town's famous son, the world-renowned film director, Luis Buñuel.

Rules:

Everyone and anyone can participate in "la rompida de la hora" in Calanda. The color is limited to ornamental purple robes and carbines.
Elderly men and women, youth and children of all ages interpret the different rhythms when beating the drums.

Where and When:

"La rompida de la hora" is staged every year on Good Friday and starts at 12 in the afternoon and it last 24h until 12 in the afternoon of the following day.




The village of Calanda in Teruel province, is situated in the center of the region of Aragon. It is easy to get there by car or bus from Zaragoza. Zaragoza is well connected by airport and bus with the main Spanish cities.



More Info:
Calanda web site (google translated)

Videos:



 

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