Yoga on the beach. Happy OMdependence Day. (Taken with Instagram)
Fiesta de San Juan
June 23, 2010
Deriving from the Pagan ritual of celebrating the Summer Solstice, or the beginning of the summer, this Spanish Festival is one of the biggest parties of the year.
I hosted a pre-midnight party, complete with great food, loud music, and cool friends, hanging out in my downtown pad.
For the festival, the townspeople erect a gigantic bonfire, and burn some kind of papier-mache model (last year, it was Neptune) at the strike of midnight. This year, the Rota town council was low on funds (“Estamos en crisis!”), so they did not light a ceremonial bonfire on the beach as they have in the years past. Instead they had a few smaller fires set all over the town, I’m guessing in a manner similar to Las Fallas in Valencia, but on a much smaller scale.
Also, there is a wishing tradition that my guests and I partook. You take 3 pieces of paper, and write down three wishes. At midnight, you throw the wishes into the fire, and make your way to the beach. You get in and let 3 waves wash over - one for each wish. Then, you either jump into the water altogether, or get out. They say that at least one of those wishes will come true. A coworker recounted the year when she and all her friends would altogether wish for one of their friends (who has been unsuccessful in the previous years) to finally bear a child. And that year it came true! Only months later, the said friend was pregnant!
After the fire burning, the town engages in a wild party all through the night. People are also allowed to sleep and set up tents on the beach that night. My apartment being right in front of the city beach, it was difficult to sleep and get up the next morning. And that morning, you should have seen the beach, what a mess it was! Cups and beer bottles, and all kinds of crap all over the sand.
The Spanish sure know how to party.
Gaga at Playa Punta Candor, Rota
12 June, 2010
Playa de la Costilla, Rota, Spain
the inauguration ceremony for the official beginning of beach season!
This weekend, I went on a Yoga retreat in El Palmar, a long stretch of farmland and beach that’s largely untouched. The residents have voted to keep it as uninhabited as possible, barring any development within 500 meters of the shoreline.
The result is quite astounding. Wild weeds grow in the dunes by the shore, offering visitors a lovely view of nature left to its own accord. The occupied terrain, used mostly as farmland, fits right into the atmosphere. I stood by a wheat field in early morning, and watched as the wind moved the wheat stalks, illuminated and sparkling like silver by the rising sun.
The beach had a wonderful color to it, a cerulean blue hue that blends into green, splashing over the light yellow sand.
It is in moments, days, like this that I feel lucky, so damn lucky, to be alive.