Last weekend it was the second fiesta in Antas, the Fería de Antas, held in honour of the patron saint of Antas, the Virgen de la Cabeza. The fiesta usually starts with the romería, a procession from the town with the virgin’s statue all the way to the hermitage or small chapel, on the hill just outside Antas. There are also many tractor-drawn floats decorated in different ways, floral or with a specific theme. At the top there is a religious service and then all around the picnic site the groups that came up on floats, and anyone else that came up by car, enjoy a picnic or buy a portion of paella, costing €1. However this year, the romería was cancelled due to extreme weather warnings. As it turned out, the weather was not as bad as forecast, but nonetheless it was not a very bright day for a picnic.
The fiesta in the town started last Thursday and ended on Sunday evening, or to be precise, at 3am during the night, when the virgin’s statue is taken from the chapel in the town square to the church, which is located in the old town.
Thursday, once the fiesta had been officially opened by the mayor, there was the crowning of the Feria queens and their attendants “livened up” by the performance of a comedian. Then fireworks and after that the music starts. Friday and Saturday there was traditional fiesta music and dancing from about 10 or 10.30pm.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday there was also the Feria de Mediodía, when the main street was closed during the afternoon to traffic and there was a stage for live rock music and so plenty of drinking and dancing took place!
Due partly to John’s work hours and my hip pain we didn’t make it to much of the fiesta, but we did go on the last evening. We started with spit roasted chicken and chips, which is a popular fiesta meal. We were treated to the modern equivalent to jousting where young men on bicycles ride and attempt to pull a ribbon off of a rope that is stretched across their approach path. Having completely filled our bellies we moved to Cafeteria Leo for a drink. During our time there the local clergy performed a mass in honour of the patron saint.
To finish the evening, we went to another very common fiesta food stand, for churros and chocolate, fried batter strips that you dip into a cup of rich, thick, delicious hot chocolate. Although only attending the fiesta for a few hours we took full advantage of the wonderful sites, food and sounds of a typical Spanish fiesta. Viva España, viva la fiesta!