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Tuesday, May 3, 2011 (read 1084 times)
Lunes De Aguasby Lindsay Cook
Yesterday was a fiesta of a special sort here in Salamanca. Large groups of people went down to sit by the River Tormes as well as other nearby rivers and countryside, to essentially take part in a big picnic; enjoying the company of their friends, and yesterday the sunshine as well!
University students classes do not run in the afternoon and many businesses also close for the afternoon to allow the salamantinos, the people from Salamanca, to join in with the festivities.
The traditional food eaten during Lunes de Aguas is a Salamancan delicacy; Hornazo. To me this seemed a bit like a Cornish Pasty; with thick pastry covering the meat in the middle! I went with my Spanish housemate and her friends to buy our hornazo in one of the many bakeries in Salamanca, though they can also be bought in supermarkets.
Although we had not ordered ours in advance there were people waiting in long lines outside some of the most famous bakeries, all waiting to pick up their own hornazo! Our hornazo was a circular shape so when down by the river we cut it into slices, much a like a pizza, and each ate one.
The history behind Lunes de Aguas is very interesting. Back in the 16thcentury Salamanca´s prostitutes were banished from the town to the other side of the river during lent by King Felipe. For forty days they were not allowed back into the city.
However on the second Monday after lent they were allowed to return, students would hold parties on the riverbanks to welcome them back. Nowadays whilst there are no longer prostitutes to welcome back, people continue to meet on the riverbanks and in the countryside with friends and families to eat hornazo and join in with the huge picnic.
Yesterday we were lucky enough to enjoy bright sunshine! As Semana Santa fell late this year the weather was better than it often is. Each year though, as long as it is not raining, the salamantinos head outside to join in with the celebrations.
So if you are in Salamanca next year after Easter it is definitely worth joining in with the festivities.
To find out what’s going on in Spain when you’re here have a look at our event calendar and at our information about the fiestas. Spain really comes to life during these days so why not even plan your trip to Spain to coincide with one of these events?
Keywords: lunes de aguas, salamanca, spanish festivals, hornazo