FESTERA


Fiestas are the lifeblood of Valencian village life. Religious celebrations are held all year round but the main fiesta season starts with the passing of Spring into Summer, when days get longer and the sun higher. From May until September a town or village nearby will be in ‘Fiestas’ every week and young people spend the Summer months dancing and partying through the hot nights, coming home with the sunrise. The fiestas are organised by groups of neighbours and  the 'Festeros' with help from the Town Halls and they raise money throughout the year to pay for the weeks events, from fireworks, church processions accompanied by brass bands,  dance bands, races, village paellas and communal suppers. My four adult children were all ‘Festeros’, the young people involved in organising fiestas who then are presented to the village on the opening night, dressed in evening gowns and suits and garlanded with their fiesta sashes. They remember their 'Fiestas' as a highlight of their youth.




FESTERA


She slept, head placed
precisely on sofa arm,
gown laid waiting. I am
transfixed by her loveliness.

Dancing till sunrise,
tired legs dragged to the salon’s chair,
hair rolled and twirled,
adorned with silk flowers.

I wake her gently,
revived with black coffee,
she shakes off sleep,
slips on white satin, transforms.

Pearl drops gleam through
black lace cobwebs cascading
from her crowning comb,
mantilla majestic on proud head.

Silver shoes, gold threaded sash,
fan fluttering, flickering like
humming birds wings in midday heat.
Drums beat, the band nears.

She takes her place, framed by
kissing palms, waiting for her
suited Festero to offer his arm
whilst the brass serenades.


© 2017 Jacqueline Claire Knight.  All rights reserved. 




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