Spain

Festa Major!

As I said in my last post, Festa Major began Friday evening and continued through yesterday.  It technically finished around midnight, but I was still hearing the occasional firecracker around one a.m. when I managed to fall asleep.  Festa Major in past years was originally just for the youth and often got out of control, so it was shut down in 2011 and only brought back this year as a family festival.  There were a lot of traditional dances, fireworks, Los Diables de Sant Cugat (in Spanish a diablo is a devil, but diable is the Catalan term), outdoor markets, and plenty of food and drink venues to experience.  Saturday I went to the market since I underestimated the temperature here in my packing, and that evening I went with Marc to see the diables whose pyrotechnics got out of hand and set a tree on fire.  Luckily, the fire department was already there just in case and put it out in a few minutes.  Sunday had its own entertainment beginning with some traditional dance and a food competition consisting of at least fifty teams making variations of a traditional Catalan seafood dish.  In the afternoon, los castillos were built by the monastery.  When I saw castillos (castles) though, I don’t mean the stone kind.  I’m talking about acrobatic teams climbing on top of one another to build a castle.  This was also a competition; when the final one reached the top, she would wave her hand to signal time.  The teams were competing for the most levels in the least amount of time.  That evening, I saw a ballet…twice.  I really enjoyed it at 8:00, so I went back at 11:00.  Monday was the last day of Festa Major and there wasn’t much going on.  For most people it was a day to rest before returning to work today, so Marc took me to Barcelona to look around.  We couldn’t enter La Sagrada Familia because of a rule against wearing shorts inside.  I’ll be going back later this week though, and will hopefully have the foresight to wear pants or a skirt.  Monday evening concluded La Festa with a parade through the town of everyone who had previously participated in any dances or shows.  This eventually went past our street as they entered the monastery and set up for a final dance.  After the dance, I went with Montse and her friends to the park where there was a line of American food trucks, though the food tasted distinctly different.  My hot dog for example, wasn’t very good, but the fries with the ambiguous sauce were delicious.  We stayed eating and talking until 11:00 when we made our way just down the street for the fireworks that would end Festa Major.  Overall, the Festa was fantastic, and I’m a little sad it’s over, but there are still plenty of other things to do in Sant Cugat and Barcelona while I’m here!

Dancing (Saturday)
Dancing (Saturday)
Dancing (Saturday)
Dancing (Saturday)
Castillo (Castle)
Castillo (Castle)
Outside La Sagrada Familia
Outside La Sagrada Familia
Somewhere in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona
Somewhere in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona
One of the pretend statues that dot La Ramblas.  I think he scarred a couple of girls who were getting their picture taken with him.
One of the pretend statues that dot La Ramblas. I think he scarred a couple of girls who were getting their picture taken with him.
Children's dance (Monday)
Children’s dance (Monday)
Adult dance (Monday).  The woman was actually the choreographer of the whole thing, and the man came in at the back of the line to ask her to join in.
Adult dance (Monday). The woman was actually the choreographer of the whole thing, and the man came in at the back of the line to ask her to join in.
Adult dancing (Monday)
Adult dancing (Monday)
Adult dancing (Monday)
Adult dancing (Monday)
Food truck fiesta (Monday night)
Food truck fiesta (Monday night)
Fireworks
Fireworks
Fireworks with the long exposure setting
Fireworks with the long exposure setting
Dances (Saturday)
Dances (Saturday)
Dancing (Saturday)
Dancing (Saturday)
Dances (Saturday)
Dances (Saturday)
Percussion tournament (Saturday)
Percussion tournament (Saturday)
Percussion tournament (Saturday)
Percussion tournament (Saturday)
A diable
A diable
One of the disables' dragons with fireworks lit on its wings comes down the street
One of the disables’ dragons with fireworks lit on its wings comes down the street
Dancing (Sunday)
Dancing (Sunday)
Dancing (Sunday)
Dancing (Sunday)
Ballet (Sunday)
Ballet (Sunday)
Ballet (Sunday)
Ballet (Sunday)
My new dress that I bought to combat the heat
My new dress that I bought to combat the heat
Tree on fire outside the monastery
Tree on fire outside the monastery
A fan, also a very useful purchase
A fan, also a very useful purchase

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