Sunday, February 26, 2006

This week, of course, sees the beginning of Lent. Up here in Galicia the Mardi Gras ceremonies are known as Entroido/Antroido. They started this weekend with a procession of floats and will end – on Good Friday - with the ceremonial burning of some sort of effigy. Along the Galician coast this normally takes the form of a sardine but here in Pontevedra - for reasons lost in the mists of time - we burn a parrot called Ravachol. This takes place at the end of a long funeral march on Friday evening which involves a good deal of irreligious dressing up and a fair amount of cross-dressing. I’m sure this says something about the Spanish character but I haven’t yet figured out what this is. Anyway, it’s not the night to chat up a black-veiled widow in fish-net tights and stiletto heels.

You can read an account of one of the processions by clicking on the Carnaval in Pontevedra link at the bottom of the home page of my web page on Galicia –

Ravachol, by the way, has just been permanently honoured by the erection of a monument in one of the town’s central squares. I will post a picture shortly.

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