First we headed to the opening of an exhibition of local painters, but, well, it didn't open before the next event so we bailed and headed over to the park the racing had been in. The Gegants were there as well as bands of musicians playing traditional Catalan music. I tried to take a video with the camera but I cannot figure out how to download it...that manual is en Francaise, n'est pas?
I posted some of the photos into the albums you can access for the really die-hard, but here is the parade of neighbours going through town. There were three seperate parades, each with their own float. We got the biggest Gegants in our neighbourhood. These weigh 80 to 95 pounds or kilos, I am not sure although the difference is significant, and the guys carrying them dance to the music the whole way. They are pretty sweaty when they emerge. The three parades each follow seperate routes and get larger and larger as they go on, picking up people from the neighbourhoods they go through.
Those are kids dancing in that and holding the flaming torches. They are wearing quite heavy costumes which would afford them some protection, and the costumes have heavy hoods which would keep their hair from incinerating...but....
Tonight is the correfoc infantile. Yup, fire-running for kids. You read that right. I think we will plead foreignness on this one and just watch this year. Never thought I would see those words all together in one sentence.
The kids had a fantastic time in the placa with a bunch of their friends playing a variety of run and scream games, and then they settled into this Catalan folk dance that they all played for at least an hour. It involved singing a song, of course, and they span around in circles holding hands, quite quickly, and then at some unseen signal, presumably a particular line in the song, the circle broke up and they all wove in and out with each other giggling madly when they made mistakes.
Eventually they got up on the platform and played it, I was trying not to watch , because it was only a matter of time till one of them fell off. It was about 4 feet high and didn't have a rail on any side. *gulp* We managed to leave before anyone got hurt.
This is the kids dancing....
The man went into the church as well, this is theoretically a Christian celebration. The King and Queen were in there and did a dance, and all the roses that were brought along were brought into the church as well. They also opened the closet/cupboard/reliquary where the local martyred Saints bones are, although they are actually from Sardinia which was once Catalan. Several people told me that it was quite beautiful, although I didn't go in. Instead I stayed out in the Placa with the kids and had laborious conversations with some of the folks we know here.
Today we have Castallers, they climb one on top of another and again and again, also snail races, and the children's fire run....more later.