Sunday, 25 May 2008

Visiting Sitges for Corpus Christi

Since medieval times, the Roman Catholic church has celebrated Corpus Christi on the Thursday 60 days after Easter Sunday. Even in central Barcelona can you on this day see people placing eggs on the jets of water fountains, a tradition called l’ou com balla (how the egg dances). From the beginning, Corpus Christi has had more of a popular than a religious character and historic records reveal that giants, ball de diables (people dressed up as devils, dancing around with fire crackers), monsters and other typical elements of a Catalan festa have their roots in this celebration.

One of the places which really preserves the tradition is Sitges. On the Sunday, people come from all around Catalonia to see the clove fair (mostra de clavells – 2.100 pots displaying more than a hundred kinds of the flower) or admire the flower carpets (catifes de flors) which cover most of the space in the town’s narrow streets.

Last time we went was a very sunny day so we had to struggle not only with the crowds but also with the smell of the flowers which started to rot in the heat. This year we had planned to go early but the rain forced us to wait until late in the afternoon. With all the water in the streets, many flower decorators had had to interrupt their job, but around Sitges’s Àliga (a fire spitting eagle) did we find some which can give you a flavour of how beautiful this is when the weather allows for it.
- - -El nostre plan era d’anar cap al Sitges ja pel matí per arribar-hi abans dels barcelonesos i també abans de que les flors comencin a olorar malament. Però pel temps que feia, hem hagut de sortir per la tarda i llavors no esperavem veure gran cosa.

Un elogi a tots els sitgetans que han finalitzat les seves decoracións però també a ells que han intentat de fer-ho, malgrat la pluja ininterrompuda.

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