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From time immemorial, about 1,200 villages of Spain celebrate their festivals around the 15th August as is the case of the Great Week of San Sebastian, or of many other municipalities and cities: of the Dove in Madrid to the Barrio de Gracia in Barcelona, passing by the Islands of Cies and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. But this year will be, according to the mayor of one of those villages, “the biggest sad of the century” because of the coronavirus.

The Covid and the fear of contagion have been able to further that tradition. Towns across Spain have been cancelled or reduced to the minimum expression the celebrations of the “Virgin of August,” , which is held in 924 villages in all of Spain in its different meanings (the Assumption, the Dove, the Virgin of the Pine, the Begoña…).

see Also san Roque, san Bartolomé and santa Rosa of Lima, who traditionally celebrate their big day in these dates have fallen before the juggernaut of the pandemic; as they have done the Fair of Malaga or Semana Grande de Gijón; sports competitions such as the racing of San Lúcar de Barrameda, or the feast of palencia of the Dugouts and the descent of the river Pisuerga, fireworks Mallorca or San Sebastian; the historical re-enactments of Tenerife, Soria, spain and Jaén.

not to mention the bulls: this year there are only announced the eight festivals , four of which are bullfights, and a single novillada with picks, when in the past year, between the 13th and 16th of August, is celebrated in Spain and France a total of 57 celebrations older: 30 bull, 12 calves with picks and 15 of rejones.

It a disaster, a tragedy for thousands of families who live with the festivals and the fairs; it’s going to be the party more sad of the century, no one remembers something like that”, he says with regret, responsible for the pastoral care of Circuses and Fairs of the Bishops ‘ Conference , the priest José Increase, that, since march, trying to alleviate the hunger and desperation of the nearly 200,000 people and nearly 32,000 families of showmen who “have lost everything”.

“And the circus has it even worse, because these do not even have a house or a village to return to, have remained parked in a no man’s land, and no one makes them case,” says outraged, convinced that those who has forbidden the celebrations “have a pays fixed that he drops every month and are as comfortable in their armchairs official”.

Also with “quite dizzy” await the owners of bars and used to “fill to overflowing” this weekend and today expecting to gather at least the parishioners more faithful.

Matias Muniz, 38, is the third generation at the front of the bar Muñiz, in the calle Calatrava in Madrid, the epicenter of the festivals of The Dove , and only this year have been encouraged to decorate their premises with shawls and lanterns, and even hire a barrel-organ player for the chotis continue; “although it is a rare year, Muniz has to hold The Dove”, he says, smiling behind the mask with black it protects.

Also in the locality of La Alberca (Salamanca), the festivities, declared of National Tourist Interest, they have been reduced to the minimum expression: not the Offertory and procession of the guilds with women dressed in the suit “views”, or the self-liturgical medieval in which the good overcomes the evil in the fight against the dragon of the seven heads, or the open-air dances, competitions and festivals.

“70 per cent live of the tourism, but we are aware of the danger and the need to be cautious”, said the excited mayor, Miguel Angel Luengo, which has suspended all except the mass and tells the story of how the most old coming up the street, “half crying, to say that neither in the Civil War were left to celebrate the holidays”.

Resigned, Luengo recognizes that “we are all heartbroken, but the next year we will return with more desire”.

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