The High Quarterly

A Fiesta in Spain 05/03/2017

I don’t know much about the history behind festivals in Spain, or the traditional aspects of the gatherings, but this just proves that even to an outsider in Spanish culture, their festivals are an amazing thing to witness, with everyone, locals and visitors, enjoying the atmosphere and music.

            There is nothing better than going on holiday only to find locals in the midst of celebration, even if you don’t know what for! The initial impression I received from the week long party I had been dropped into was that it seemed far more adventurous and thrilling than at home. It took a while to become accustomed to the daring nature of the locals as one night, horses were galloping through a packed square, with apparently no divide between them and the stalls or the people gathered to watch. A main part of the display seemed to be a trick involving the extremely skilled riders staying on the horses backs as they encouraged them to jump and rear while still moving, the riders continuing forwards almost horizontally. No one seemed concerned with jumping horses and the lack of barriers allowed them to run forward and try to touch the horses, which seemed to be an expected aspect, as everyone instantly started doing it, with none seeming confused as to why. It almost seemed to add to the experience when everyone had to repeatedly run backwards, everyone knocking into each other and standing on strangers feet, because the packed square was always filled with noise from onlookers as well as the loud music. I tried to research this specific aspect of the fiesta, and have linked a webpage I found with information about the horses meaning and pictures of people attempting to touch the horses, if you are interested. 

            I was also carried to the town centre with the throng of people participating in a parade of what seemed to be different groups of people, each of which having created their own representative giant frame of a person. It is not something I am familiar with, so is hard to describe, but they seemed to be large sculptures towering above the crowds with paper maché heads and clothes made from huge stretches of fabric to match their theme. Someone, or even a few people, were inside each giant, walking them to the town centre for the display of horses. Upon reaching the town hall, they would start to dance around and with each other, and were taken inside just before the horses came out. Bands accompanied them down the narrow streets, although it is necessary to say that they played the same song a few too many times!

            And lastly, the display of fireworks arranged was spectacular. Our apartment was situated on a cliff, with the water separating us from the town, meaning us and all of the people staying in the apartments around us could sit outside our houses on the grass or the wall and watch the firework display, which started at midnight. I’ve always loved the New Year fireworks in London, but something about seeing them reflected in the sea in the pitch black and in person was incredible. 

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