Celebrating Cervantes’ Birthday in Spain

November 2, 2015

“Until death all is life.”
— Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Cervantes Festival in Alcala de Henares

Cervantes Festival in Alcala de Henares

We happened to be in Spain on October 9th, the day of  Cervantes’ baptism.  And we learned that his birthplace, Alcala de Henares, celebrates this occasion each year with a Cervantes Week Festival and Medieval Market.  Carol and I took the little regional train out of Atocha Station to Alcala, a 45-minute ride one way, with stops.  We wanted to see an event that was created for the locals, not necessarily tourists.  By the time we arrived at 11:30 a.m., the festivities were well under way.

Vendors were wearing period costumes.  Craftspeople were demonstrating ironwork, pottery, wood carving, basket making and more.  Children were enjoying donkey rides.  Actors marched through the crowds playing music or acting soldierly.  On the air wafted good smells of food cooking.  It was fun to mingle with the locals who were enjoying a fine day in their town.

I never did read Don Quixote in its entirety, but before this trip I did manage to get through an abridged version of this classic.  I quite warmed to the character of Sancho Panza, a loyal friend with earthy, Solomon-like wisdom.

Here are some  photos from our day:

Statue of Cervantes

Statue of Cervantes

IMG_4173

IMG_4215

IMG_4174

IMG_4233

IMG_4214

IMG_4204

IMG_4190

IMG_4211

IMG_4226

Dulcinea and Quixote

Dulcinea and Quixote

IMG_4225

IMG_4210

IMG_4197

IMG_4187

IMG_4195

IMG_4201

IMG_4221

"Storks and churches are inseparable in Castile." __ Miranda Franca, Don Quixote's Delusions: Travels in Castilian Spain

“Storks and churches are inseparable in Castile.” __ Miranda Franca, Don Quixote’s Delusions: Travels in Castilian Spain

Picasso's sketch of Don Quixote, 1955

Picasso’s sketch of Don Quixote, 1955

Don Quixote sketch by Salvador Dali

Don Quixote sketch by Salvador Dali

 

 

 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Celebrating Cervantes’ Birthday in Spain”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    What an absolutely wonderful collection of photos. I’ve always admired your nature photos, but your evocative photos of people can’t be beat. And what’s not to like about a local festival? I always think of the difference between Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and the country Mardi Gras celebrations. I’ll take small and local over huge and hugely promoted any day.

  2. Lynne Auld Says:

    What a fun glimpse into a wonderful local Spanish tradition! Thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: