In Spain, there’s never a reason not to party.
Torrijos holds it’s annual festival during the weekend of September 23-27. During this time from Wednesday to Sunday, the entire town pretty much shuts down and just celebrates. School let out early after afternoon mass on Wednesday and there wasn’t school on Thursday or Friday. It’s clear to see the “work to live or live to work” cultural differences between Spain and America. (I’ll save that for another post) Needless to say Torrijeños might say that La Fería is the happiest time of the year. Think American 4th of July festivals and that’s what Fería looked like. The celebration is centered in the main plaza with a giant tent in the center for dancing and concerts and surrounded by mini food/beer tents. Mostly just beer tents-€1 beers. 🙂
The festival started Wednesday night with the opening ceremony including speeches and the crowning of the queen of the festival. My new dream: be queen of a festival! I actually have the queen in one of my english classes so that’s probably as close as I will ever get to be a queen.
Thursday through Sunday had a similar schedule of events. Everyday started with cañas (beers) in the plaza, lots of dancing, and lots of tapas. I spent Thursday and Friday with Monica and Ana. It’s amazing that when I am with them I don’t get treated like a tourist or a foreigner. I feel like I fit in when we are together, it’s a great feeling to have this special Spanish family of mine.
Saturday I spent the day with some of the other teachers from my school. They have all been so welcoming and supportive, I couldn’t have imagined it any better. We ate lots of jamón iberico. (It’s safe to say that I am obsessed with spanish jamón-when mama Ana and I walk into our regular bar, Martín the bartender, has two beers ready for us and a plate of freshly carved jamón for me)
There’s a lot more to la fería than just beer, or maybe not. JUST KIDDING. It’s a party for the whole town, and in a small town, it’s the ultimate block party. People travel from the surrounding towns to celebrate in Torrijos with friends and family. I felt like the most popular teacher in the world because all of my students would come up to me and say, “hhhhhello Gabby!” And it’s even acceptable to drink with your students. I think that was the biggest cultural shock for me when one of my students bought me a drink and my boss said it was totally normal. OK Spain, I could get used to this.
It was an incredible weekend and I am glad that I was here to celebrate it. Here are some pictures that can’t justly capture my happiness that I am living a dream come true.