Monday, 28 January 2013

Carnival about to Begin in Garraf-Penedès (Catalonia)

The Carnival is about to begin and already next weekend – February 1-3 -, we will see the first major events: in Vilanova i la Geltrú and Cubelles (Garraf), but also in Vilafranca del Penedès (Alt Penedès) do the carnival societies organise Saturday dance nights (ball de mantons) where the women will dress up in traditional silk shawls from Manilla. In Vilanova i la Geltrú this will – for the first time ever - be followed by a celebration out in the streets, during the same night (comparses de nit). On the other hand, only five kilometers closer to Barcelona, Sitges Gay Carnival 2013 starts during the same weekend.

But there are a lot more things going on in Penedès during the coming few days: For those interested in Catalan Culture the town festival (festa major) in Calafell (Baix Penedès) is worth a visit, while those of you who like Catalan cuisine should not miss the xató salad festival (xatonada popular) on Sunday Febrary 3 in El Vendrell (Baix Penedès). 

Find here our Garraf-Penedès Carnival programs in English: Sitges, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Calafell and Vilafranca del Penedès.

A translation to English of the festa major program for Calafell (poble / old-town) is included in the general agenda in English covering this period.

Full Garraf-Penedès-Anoia events calendars in English can be found here.

Discover Penedès (Catalonia)!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

'Festa Major' in Sant Pere de Ribes (Program in English) and more...

If you are in the area of Barcelona as a tourist and like Catalan culture, I really think that you should consider going to Sant Pere de Ribes (Garraf) where they celebrate their main town festival, and the first important festa major in the wine region Penedès this year. The main events - for example parades with Catalan folk dances or devils dancing under fire and reading verses - take place in the afternoon Thursday January 24 and before (a late Catalan) lunchtime on Friday January 25. Find here a program in English.

Among the other festivals and activitities in Penedès worth highlighting for the coming weekend, January 26-27, we find a festa major in La Ràpita (Santa Margarida i els Monjos, Alt Penedès), a jazz concert in Vilafranca del Penedès (Alt Penedès) and – yet again! – horse parades, tres tombs, this time in Calafell (Baix Penedès) and Piera (Anoia). Fine here our detailed event calendars in English.

Discover Penedès!

Friday, 18 January 2013

'Tres Tombs' Horse Parades in Igualada and Vilafranca del Penedès

For everyone who likes Catalan traditions we have a great weekend ahead - January 18-20 -, with horse parades – Tres Tombs – in Igualada (Anoia) and Vilafranca del Penedès (Alt Penedès). On top of this, in Vilafranca there will also be a xató salad festival – Xatonada Popular – at the same time and in the same place!

And as if this was not enough, in Cunit (Baix Penedès) they celebrate their Festa Major d’hivern and in Sitges and Vilanova i la Geltrú (the two in Garraf) there will be parades with Catalan folk dances.

Find here the full Discover Penedès event calendars in English.

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Attention: On Thursday and Friday - January 24-25 -, next week we will have the first complete town festival in Penedès this year – Festa Major de Sant Pau in Sant Pere de Ribes (Garraf). Find here program in English.

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Traditional Catalan 'Tres Tombs' Horse Parade in Vilanova i la Geltrú

January 17 is a local holiday here in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Garraf, Barcelona) and like every year we have celebrated this Day of our Patron Saint Sant Antoni with a horse parade. The organizers counted as many as 165 horses with riders, 47 carriages and 25 wagons which makes the Tres Tombs de Vilanova i la Geltrú one of the biggest events of its kind in the whole of Catalonia.

As you might guess I have already written about this tradition a number of times, for example in 2011 and 2010.

Here are some of my Instagram pictures of the event.

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Read more in Catalan: Eix Diari

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Vilafranca del Penedes in Photos - A Sunday in January 2013

Last Sunday I took a photo workshop and walk through Vilafranca del Penedès (Alt Penedès), organized by La Capsa de Llum. We were not supposed to use Instagram, but I did so anyhow. Here are the results.

Friday, 11 January 2013

'Tres Tombs' Horse Parades Coming to Vilanova and Rest of Penedès and Catalonia

The coming weekend – Friday to Sunday, January 11-13 -, in the cava and wine region Penedès is unusually calm from an event point of view. True, there are a number of running competitions – above the Half Marathon of Sitges (Garraf) – and, in Vilafranca del Penedès (Alt Penedès), sardana dancing and a meeting for people who collect cava bottle caps, but not much more.

Fortunately, two concerts in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Garraf) reassure us that this situation will soon change since they are held to mark the occasion of the Tres Tombs and Sant Antoni celebrations coming Thursday, January 17, when the streets of the town will fill up with the traditional horse parade.

Full cultural agendas in English for the whole of Penedès can be found here.

Attention: Only after having finalized this week’s video, I have learnt that the opening ceremony of the Sant Antoni celebrations in Vilanova i la Geltrú will be followed by performances by the Catalan folk dance ball de cotonines, as well as by giants (gegants), giant mules (mulasses) and the dragon (drac) of Vilanova, after which all groups will parade through the town. I am not sure how I can have missed this event, since it is exactly the kind of traditional activities I love to promote. Well, at least now you know!

Discover Penedès!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Catholic Tradition to Build Nativity Scenes - from a Vilanova Perspective

For the fifth year in a row, our family has stuck to our new Christmas traditions and visited the exhibition of nativity scenes (pessebres) and other dioramas here in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona, Catalonia).

My favourite work this time was the seaside inspired motif where the town and harbour of Vilanova i la Geltrú has clearly served as inspiration. Next to it there was a big diorama showing the main square of a typical Catalan town - including balconies decorated with flags demanding independence for Catalonia: "In"-"Indep"-"Independència"-"Ja!"

This exhibition is free of charge and until January 17 it can be found at the Associació Pessebrista (C/ Cabanyes, 17): Monday-Saturday: 19.00-20.30; Sundays and holidays: 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-20.30).

Find here my earlier posts about the Cristmas Crib tradition in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona, Catalonia):

2012 - Catalan Nativity Scenes in Vilanova i la Geltrú - Chirstmas 2011
2010 - Catalan Nativity Scenes – Christmas 2010
2010 - Vilanova and Penedès Inspired Cribs – Christmas 2009
2010 - Church Does Not Object to Pooping in Catalans Christmas Cribs
2009 - ENG: Christmas Cribs with Catalan References – Christmas 2008
2007 - So much to learn - Christmas 2007

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Traditional Three Wise Men Parade in Vilanova i la Geltrú

Tonight the Tree Wise Men (Reis Mags or Reis de l'Orient in Catalan) made their arrival in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona, Catalonia) in a traditional horse parade, starting at the castle of La Geltrú and accompanied by atmospheric folk music on gralles and sacs de gemecs (Catalan bag pipes).