A sugary aftermath

March 2nd, 2014, 3pm

“The feathers are from the naked man. They cover him in honey and feathers and then they take him around town, in a box that he jumps in and out of, like a jack in the box, spreading feathers everywhere.”

I was in Vilanova, a town about an hour and a half outside of Barcelona and it was Carnival weekend. My friend, A., who is from Vilanova was trying to explain the mounds of fluffy white feathers wafting through the picturesque streets like albino dust bunnies.

A.’s eyes sparkled as she spoke. She was smiling and I was drawn in, as I always was. She has this way about her - this way of talking, of moving, of simply being - that somehow, strange as it may sound, makes the world seem like a better place. She laughed musically, “I almost forgot. The best part is that - the naked man - he’s followed by this long line of women, all of them with babies.” She explained that the women represented the women he slept with, all in one night, impregnating them with rapid fire, conveyor belt like efficiency. I asked, if during Franco’s conservative Catholic reign such a thing was allowed, considering its racy subject matter. She shrugged, grinning. “Of course not, but people found a way.”

As we wandered through the streets A. explained a few of the other Vilanova Carnival traditions. Among them:

  1. A city wide costume party that tends to be dominated by elaborately hand made costumes. (That night when I witnessed it I was forced to concede that it was better than Halloween).
  2. A giant meringue fight. Not meringue pies either, but actual hard, dry meringue.
  3. Donkey poop bingo. I’m not sure what else to call it. They fence in an area, write some numbers on the ground, let a donkey loose and then continually feed it lettuce until it poops on someone’s number. Apparently, the whole event comes complete with commentary that runs something like: *OH! Look at that…he’s about to go.. oh! But.. no, on he goes walking to number 8. When will he go?”
  4. A highly orchestrated city wide candy fight that happens over the course of several hours and is set to traditional music (specifically, one song). While this is happening in the main city square, the rest of the city is filled with groups of musicians and dancers who break out into drunken song and dance on random street corners.

The picture above was taken on one of the main thorough-fares. The candy fights don’t stay isolated to the city square and you’re guaranteed to leave Vilanova with your soles glazed with sugar and candy wrappers.

Two weeks later I’m still getting over the fact that there is such a festival and that it happens every year.

Sanna, Nate, Sara, Cassie and 9 others said thanks.

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Dani Z

The hardest thing about getting older is realizing that I might, in fact, be a minor character in someone else's story. (I keep changing this bio. I'm not sure I'll ever nail it)

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