The Festa Major activities on Thursday August 6 started late, at 19:00. For many vilanovins this is the big “day after” but it does have its own important program: the children’s performance parade.
In most Catalan towns, the children’s processions are merely copies of those performed by adults, albeit with lighter giants and not the noisiest of firecrackers. The one here in Vilanova – la Cercavila de l’imaginari - is different and, in my eyes, a model for how you recuperate and build a local culture. In 1999, it was created by a team lead by ethnologist Bienvé Moya and it consists of eight dances which illustrate the history of this town and its local legends. The music, dances and clothing have their origin in Catalan traditions, but are in fact recent creations. Find here a description of all the dances.
Within the Festa Major of Vilanova i la Geltrú, the Cercavila de l’Imaginari is a separate entity with an elaborate web-page available in both Catalan and Spanish. If you live here and have small children you should keep your eyes open for when the next year application forms are presented here. To participate is an adventure – the dances are rehearsed during the summer – but many children want to do so and only 200 are admitted through a lottery.
Before the last Festa Major day was over - in a plenary hall ceremony so popular that I was not even close to being able to enter – the organisers (pabordes) Policarpo Aparicio, David Fernànez, Eva Fuster, Roger Grau, Anton Manyer, Eloi Montcada and Núria Morte were thanked for their hard work. As far as I have seen in local media, the 2009 edition of this beautiful tradition was considered a major success, not at all marked by a negative crisis mood.
Personally, the fact that I was invited to write el bloc de la Festa made this my best Festa Major ever, above all since I met so many new people. Thanks to them I have learnt a lot – part of which I hope to have passed on here in my blog – and thanks to them have I finally decided to now actively take part in the local cultural life.
The Festa Major 2009 is over but, fortunately enough, the new pabordes - Lourdes Campins, Pilar Contreras, Ramon Enfadaque, Roser Jané, Xavier Llorens, Mireia Montserrat and Quim Tonda - have already started to outline the one for August 2010.
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