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There Be Dragons

This is the time of year when the Correfoc’s take place. These are the traditional pageants to drive the devil out of the village or town and bring good harvests and luck.  So as always we try to go to the one in Tivissa and Rasquera. So around 9pm on Saturday night we set off arriving just as they had begun to move off.

 

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In Rasquera I counted about 6 teams who gather in the square some with their dragons others just fire dancers, waiting to be told to go.  All the people dancing with the fireworks are clothed in fireproof suits with various designs on them and the reason for staggering the start is because each team has a ‘trolley’ with their fireworks in and this follows behind the drums which accompanies each team. Noisy eh? wonderful…

The Fun Begins

 

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Then  come the dragons whirling and twirling around covered in fireworks and thoroughly enjoying themselves.  Youngsters are seated on fathers shoulders to watch all this whilst some of the older people and teenagers  dressed in old clothes with scarves round their faces bandit style and hats to cover their hair soak themselves with water and join the dancers under the fireworks.  One year in our village when I was younger, I was given the top half of a dancer’s costume and joined in the dancing believe me to do this you need to be fit plus it gets very hot wearing the protective clothing and I only had the jacket on.  We never intended to take pictures but wife+ phone produced these  hope you enjoy:-

Dancing

 

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There Be Dragons Dancing

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Having Fun

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Happy Fiesta People…

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

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058

Today is St Georges Day, both here and in the UK. St George is England’s patron Saint although you would not know it, he is also Catalonia’s Saint and this is where the difference can be seen.  In England the 23rd of March usually passes without a notice let alone a mention of tv, which basically says a lot about the Church of England and Government.

The Church of England for what ever reason does not actively encourage the people to remember their own Saint. Perhaps they are more concerned with offending others, why I cannot say but there is no big mention like there is on St Davids day.  As for the Government well, we could have a National Saints Day if only to prove we are English and England is our country, but I doubt if any of them are THAT patriotic.

However here St George is celebrated in true style.  Today is the day when the men give the women they love a red rose and the women give the men a book.  It actually says quite a lot about tradition and pride in your country. The rose which was blooming and white was drenched in the dragons blood when George gave it to the fair maiden he had saved hence the red rose.  The book for St George was, I presume, a token of gratitude which like the book and in all true traditions became a token of love.  There is also a tradition of giving a yellow rose to friends so it is possible for everyone to get a rose.

As for me well my wife has her garden of roses she writes poems and I write books.  Our hallway has a book case and I don’t want another book but I expect I will buy her another rose.  We have the red rose of love, the yellow rose of friendship, the white rose of purity and several shades in between.  I have what I want we have been married for 49 years this year ups and downs like everyone else  so I think the rose garden covers everything oh yes and there is a Peace rose in there I can tell it by its perfume and colour they were bought to celebrate peace.

Happy Saint Georges Day Everyone

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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Our daughter is over for a holiday and last night we took her to Rasqueria for their Correfoc. We have never been to Rasqueria’s before and the experience was well worth the effort. 

When we arrived people were milling around the plaza to one side of which there were five dragons soon to be paraded round the little village accompanied by their groups who carried lit torches of fireworks. The dragons themselves had more fireworks attached which were lit and made them look fierce. The groups were formed up then the parade began, each group well covered to prevent burns, danced their way round following their dragon who breathed fire stopping every so often to have its fireworks replaced then off it would go again.

Following was fun and squeals could be heard everywhere. Well protected youngsters were dancing with the firework carrying followers, shirts and hats dampened to protect against stray sparks, looks of sheer delight on their faces with more squeals as the dragons passed by. Accompanying these groups were drummers who were protected from the fray so we walked along with the drummers watching the dancing dragons with their followers in front while keeping a close watch on the group behind us.

But this was a well run fiesta. Each group had a `Captain’ who  made sure there was enough distance between the groups and no one got too close to do any damage.

We went up and down streets laughing at the younger generation being daring and having fun. However, on the last leg the wind began blowing the smoke, which was heavy, down the hill towards us causing my wife to start coughing. Taking to the side of the street which was sheltered, we passed the final display coming back to the square where it had started from to find a fresh breeze blowing. After a glass of cola she managed to stop coughing and my daughter and I watched the drummers as they had a contest at the end of the display.

This is a traditional fiesta, used to drive the devil from the village, they must have succeeded, if not we all had a whale of a time trying. This is one we will be visiting again, taking a smoke mask and who knows I might even dance under the fireworks. 

We did not take a camera but for pictures if you go to Ebro Apartments you will see the photos that Dena Rowland’s took which as always will be spectacular. At this moment I am sitting writing in my outdoors office overlooking the forest accompanied by the noise of cicadas  its Sunday.

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