8th – 11th February 2018
The Bielsa Carnival happens this coming weekend (8-11 February). This is one of the most important and traditional festivals in the Pyrenees; it marks the prelude to Lent and every year it attracts many visitors.
For the people of Bielsa, it is a pride to conserve almost untouched of the essence of the fiesta from time immemorial. The carnival marks the end of winter and welcomes spring and new life.
The carnival begins on Thursday night with the making of “Cornelio Zorrilla”, a clothed doll stuffed with straw that is hung on the window of the town hall. The fiesta ends on Sunday night, when it judged for his misdeeds, condemned to die beat and burned in the bonfire. During these dates a few prominent figures appear for the village, including:
- The “trangas” are single young boys, dressed in the skin and horns of a male goat, a skirt, sandals and big shears in the waist. They are responsible gathering the “madamas” (single girls) to the door of his house and symbolize fertility.
- Las “madamas” are single girls that are gathered round for the door of the house. Their costumes are predominantly white, the symbol of purity, which they combine with you brocades and coloured ribbons.
- The “bear” and the “tamer”. The bear is a wild and afraid of people. It is taken by the tamers, who manage to tame him with blows and drinks of wine.
The “amontato” simulates a grandmother taking a man on her back and whipping him.
- The “caballet” simulates a man mounted on a horse; a horse made of basket is placed at his waist with the legs visible below.
- The “baby” wears a similar costume to the “madamas”, created with yokes and ribbons.
- The “garreta” is suit made with handkerchiefs/scarves from Portugal and a beret adorned with coloured ribbons.
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