With half of Spain on vacation, August 15 is that day in the depths of the deep summer in which the Assumption of the Virgin is celebrated. As it rises to the skies deserted cities fill with festivals and rural Spain, empty or not, welcomes millions of people who have a past, a relative or a house in it.
The patron saint is taken out in a procession, smiling on a fairground pot and getting off with a green face, Spain cañí or the wild cat is danced in a prao or in a dusty parlor, proclamations are heard in the neighborhoods adorned with garlands and it is given over to a few other summer topics that this pandemic year, with almost all the desire to party canceled, are viewed with nostalgia.
However, this pandemic year has completely broken the feast common to hundreds of villages. The summer of 2020 will be that of the Virgin of all masks, with celebrations without being celebrated for fear that the coronavirus will lock everyone at home again.
“Since the confinement began, people have been reproducing as they could, in privacy, in their surroundings, the music, the costumes, the situations of the parties and they have shown it in videos and photos that have been uploaded to social networks. They have needed it to endure this time, ”says journalist and photographer María Ángeles Sánchez, a great scholar on the subject.
Author of the book Popular festivals. Spain day by day , in which it compiled 3,200 of those that are celebrated a year in the country “with ethnographic and traditional interest”, points out that the nearly one hundred that it has identified around August 15, without taking away its Catholic roots.
“They are perhaps due to the fact that in an agricultural society, August meant a break in field work, and they took advantage of it.” From this year’s panorama, she underlines that it is an example of “how the pandemic has taken on.” “People think that if the town festivals have been suspended, this is very serious.”