Sunday, February 13, 2011
Villazgo is a celebration of local culture so the stalls are loaded with local crafts, industries and traditions like wine making, basket weaving and shoe making. In the side streets they organise traditional games, basically the local handball and a version of horshoes called caliche. On the stage the town band plays traditional music and the dance groups like Monte de la Sal don the traditional gear and get up and do dances from the local area. Hundreds and hundreds of people wear black smocks that were the everyday work gear around here for years.
Perhaps the best bit though is the food fair. You hand over a few Euros in return for which you get ten tickets, a tray, a wine glass and a ceramic dish. You then go from stall to stall handing over your tickets in return for local food and drink like wine, migas, gachamigas, rice with rabbit and snails, gazpacho (not the Andalucian one but a meaty broth on a dough base), pelotas, longanizas, morcilla, perusas, torrijes, rollitos de vino or anis and lots more that I don't remember the names of. The only down side to this event is that thousands of other people enjoy it as much as we do and sharp elbows are an essential element of getting to the food stalls.
The programme for the day has, up to now, only been available in the local language, in Valenciano, and I asked a pal who acts as a go between between we Brits and the local politicians to suggest that it should be available in standard Spanish. The answer he got was that the event was "ours" and I suppose by implication if you don't speak Valenciano then you are not one of us. Nonetheless, Maggie has just pointed out to me that the programme for this year is in Castilian too.