Sunday, 3 February 2008

Feathers for the Children

On Saturday morning our carnival experience started before we had left home. El Rei Carnestoltes (the Carnival King) and his escort of dancing flag bearers passed by below our balcony.

This day of el Carnaval de Vilanova is important for the children. Our first stop was our oldest son’s school and in the festive atmosphere of the schoolyard my wife and I made a promise – next year we will dress up in carnival costumes.

We left school too late to see the children’s show when Mr. Caramel cooks the candy for tomorrow’s Guerra de Caramels (the Candy War), but joined the parade behind his bicimòbil (a fantasy vehicle) for a while before it started to rain. Since we went home, we missed Moixò Foguer, whom I am sure that our oldest son would have loved. I have had him described as a jack-in-the-box character who suddenly pops up and throws feathers at everyone he sees. He must have done a good job – the Rambla is still covered with feathers.

It is now after midnight and I still hear the music playing outside, but that does not change the fact that for grown-ups, Saturday is a day in between bigger events.

On Friday evening l'Arrivo drew a lot of spectators. This is a float parade usually presents local politics in a satiric way, but unfortunately I did not manage to see much in the crowd. My wife was in Barcelona, so literally I carried one child on each arm.

Tonight, the busiest people are the shop owners who cover their windows with cardboard. There will be a lot of candy flying in the air here tomorrow.

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