Candelera Festival (february)
L'Ametlla de Mar
The Candelera, Carnivals Ametlla de Mar
As elsewhere in Catalonia, Ametlla de Mar celebrates February 2nd, Festival of Candlemas, and as in all similar celebrations, the primary motivation is religious devotion to the patron saint, the Virgin of the Candlemas .
Although today the religious sense of the party has been reduced, it’s true that Ametlla de Mar has a particular devotion to the patron, which gives meaning to the procession in his honour which is held the evening of February 2 where caleros pay homage through the main streets of the village with a candle (atxa) held in the hand.
The solemnity of the procession, which peaks when it arrives at the port, is traditionally marked by the presence of many curious visitors and people from nearby counties and other parts of Catalonia.
Traditions evolve but the meaning is the same. This same has happened with the young men and women responsible for carrying Candelera during the procession. Until the 80s, the responsibility was limited to young men who had completed military service during the year. Currently its is divided between the "quintos", boys and girls who during the year turned 20, and that apart from carrying the Mary they become, along with the "heiresses", the stars of the fiesta.
But the tradition of The Candelera is not limited to the religious sentiment, but unfolds in any of the areas of the Calera society, with cuisine being one of the most important parts, with native sweets, the "pastissets" and the "corassons" an accompaniment to any well prepared table.
Popular culture is represented throughout the celebrations with music from brass bands and the esteemed presence of Nanos, which are popular imaginary characters brought to life. Giants rome the streets such as Sant George and the Dragon, along with Pere and La Candelera, a couple of giants with the name of the local patron saints, leading the parade, although most popular part is the floral offering to the patron, also on February 2nd.
Women's Day, where the women rule the village, and the day of the senior people (older people), in which retirees share a fellowship meal, are other traditions that have been introduced in the last 30 years and have become firmly established among the "caleros and caleras."
Music festivals, public drinks parties, sports activities and exhibitions come together during the festival in which the afternoons come alive with one the oldest traditions, dancing in the square and the raffle for the last