The pace of country life can be a little slow. I’m not complaining, I’m just trying to explain why our local Carnaval celebrations took place last Saturday instead of on Shrove Tuesday, some weeks ago.
Better late than never though, and mistiming your celebrations can have some advantages. Not being in competition with the larger cities’ celebrations means we get participants from their parades making the journey to visit our sleepy village parade and bringing their colour, noise and excitement with them. After all, if you had spent all year working on your costume and performance you’d want to get more than one evening’s use out of it now wouldn’t you?
The parade was due to kick off at 7pm. We arrived
fashionably sensibly late at 8 to find the costumed hordes of all ages still standing at the start point, jigging about to the beat of the drums (supplied by our city cousins.) The non-functioning of the motorized woolly mammoth float was to blame for the delay but no-one really minded as the children ran around in over-excited circles and we all checked out the array of creative costumes on display.
When the procession finally moved off, some two hours behind schedule, the 150m course to the stage in the village square could have seemed anti-climactically short but the enthusiasm of the crowds made up for any lack of distance. The evening was topped off wonderfully with an espicha* for all the participants and spectators (that’s free tapas and drinks to you and me).
And there’s no better way to round off a very Asturian Carnaval than with a culín or two of sidra.