Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Valencian Community Day

We live in the province of Alicante. Along with Castellon and Valencia these three provinces make up the Valencian Community.

Back in 1238, on October 9th, King Jaume I to give him his Valencian name or Jaime I in Spanish successfully took Valencia City as part of the Christian reconquest of Spain. The Moorish invaders weren't actually cleared from all of Valencia till 1305 and the last bits of what is now geographically Valencia weren't added until 1851. Nonetheless, when the powers that be were looking for a day to celebrate being Valencian they settled on October 9th.

In the days when public holidays used to take us by surprise our pal Pepa, who is a born and bred Valencian, told us that on this day the tradition is to give little marzipan sweets wrapped in a silk handkerchief. Wikipedia tells me that this is because October 9th is also San Dionisio's day who is the patron saint of lovers (odd, I thought Valentine had that job sewn up). I remember going in to Pinoso back in 2005 to search out the sweets to hand over to Maggie. All I found were locked and bolted cake shops. Apparently San Dionisio doesn't have much sway in Alicante. His patch is Valencia province so there is no confectionery to be had in Alicante.

I work in Murcia so it wasn't a day off for me today, Murcia day is June 9th. But I did pop into Pinoso to have a look at this morning's events. Basically there was a dance troupe "Monte de la Sal", the opening of a revamped play area named for the recently deceased first president of the current democracy Adolfo Suarez and a play for children called something like "Looking for King Jaume."

It was nice if not exciting. I walked up from the town centre to the new play area following the dance troupe and their escort of giants and bigheads as well as the great and the good of the town. A couple of people said hello to me and all around me people were greeting neighbours and pals. There was even a lot of that high fiving amongst younger people. Pinoso certainly doesn't seem to have much of a problem with community with or without a day to mark it.

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