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Festivals

1132139911428_paloteo_danza_popular.jpg Festivals are a compensation for the fulfillment of one year's hard work. We have therefore inherited many festivals in which we ask for the germination of sown seeds, give thanks for a bountiful crop, honour the Patron saint who protects the town and its inhabitants from evil, commemorate religious events, or try, more or less, to neutralise the pagan version. The fact is that a wide variety of festivals is held virtually uninterrupted throughout the year.

There are festivals focusing on cuisine, such as Paella (Olleros de Pisuerga), Crab Day (Herrera de Pisuerga), or lemonade laced with Tierra de Campos wines. The recreation of biblical stories, other than the Easter ceremony, has inspired the Christmas "Pastorada" (shepherd's dance) at Terradillo de los Templarios, the "Auto de los Reyes Magos" (Drama of the Three Wise Men) at Paredes de Nava, or the "Baptism of the Holy Child", accompanied by the Christmas carol "Ea", at the capital. There are other non-religious festivals such as the "Entry of Napoleon" at Autilla del Pino during the Octava of Corpus Christi (series of prayers on eight consecutive days), and the Moors and Christians parody at Dueñas during the wine-drinking festival in August. Villareal holds a series of "encierros" (running of the bulls) during St. Bartholomew's festival, in which horses play a prominent role. Almost every town has an annual religious pilgrimage in which the statue of the Saint or the Holy Virgin Mary is carried in procession, accompanied by music of dulzaina (two reed instrument), small drum, mortar, shard, tambourine, and a bottle of anisette. The single men and women get the chance to dance, woo and relax from their daily life.

1131005390548_fiestas_2.jpg Traditional costumes with Medieval and Renaissance adornments are in the style of the 18th century. White shirt, black vest and hat, brown trousers, and red sash for men. Women wear a black velvet bodice, a red, yellow or green cloth overskirt, a black apron, petticoat, and white openwork stockings. The skirts and aprons of the more sumptuous costumes are embroidered with jet trinkets. The women from the capital are allowed, by Royal appointment, to wear a golden sash across their chest in commemoration of their heroic defence of the Duke of Lancaster's assault on the city in the absence of men.

These elements vary depending on the location and occasion (work clothes are different from gala costumes); however, this difference becomes drastic in the costumes worn by the dancers, who participate in most festivals and popular pilgrimages. Men wear white costumes with starched skirts and petticoats and myriad-coloured ribbons when performing the typical dances honouring the town's patron saint or Virgin, such as "Danza de la Pata" and "Recuadro" in Vega de Saldaña, "Baile de la Cobata" in Baltanás, "Jota de Cisneros" or "Redondilla" in Frechilla, which dates back to Celtiberian days.

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