Monday, February 26, 2024

Trangas and madams attracted thousands of visitors to Bielsa in the most transgressive carnival

“In Bielsa, the year does not start on January 1, but from carnival to carnival, that marks our calendars.” Manuel Cazcarra said it, wearing the tamer outfit, whose task is to conquer the onso (bear). These and other characters from the old festival, the most famous in Aragon, have again attracted thousands of visitors to the Pyrenean town this Saturday. It is not for nothing that it did not stop celebrating even during the dictatorship; only the COVID marked a parenthesis.

The curious, who come from the entire region of Sobrarbe but also from other more distant origins, fill the Plaza Mayor of Bielsa to experience one of the carnivals. which most symbolized the violation of this celebration, with its unique characters representing good and evil, the end of the dark winter, and the rebirth of spring.

The round started at four in the afternoon. About 40 people, the main number, traveled to the town to take many madams from the doors of their houses until they ended up in the square, where the dance was held. There the animals, composed of youths from Belse, once again attacked the audience, making their shearing rings, wearing horns, a skin of sheepskin, and stained with charcoal. Next to them are the female figures, opposed to the beast, with their white piqué dresses, organdy sleeves, and colored satin ribbons.

Behind one of the faces covered in charcoal and oil carrying potatoes with razor teeth in their mouths is Ricardo Dueso, with “veins and excitement for the most anticipated day of the year.” “I’m not dressed up; I’m dressed in drag,” he said, explaining that for the residents of Bielsa, the carnival is more than a mask. His mission, as he says, is “to frighten and make room in the square for the girls to dance.” He believes that, despite the pushes, “the guests will not bother,” and if not, the alternative will not come. “It’s tradition.”

This 28-year-old has been dating since he was 16, a tradition inherited from his father and grandfather. In other cases, they meet in a “secret” place, hours before the round, where the elders continue to wear them. “It’s not easy to wear the costume,” he admits, “especially the connection of the head with the horns, which is really uncomfortable.”. But he himself said, “Mange gladly does not sting.” Regarding the possible impact of the carnival festival due to the tractors, he was clear: “We are together with the countryside and agriculture. Must protest. Carnival is also a way of protest.”

In fact, a banner was put up in support of the farmers. And it’s not the only one in front of the town hall, where Cornelio Zorrilla is watching the party. This doll made of reeds and straw, which was condemned to remain hanging for four days until it was burned on Sunday, was subjected to a summary trial on Thursday, at the beginning of the Belizean carnival. In the Incarnation of All Evil, each year represents one or more current political issues. This time, they dressed him as a doctor to protest the lack of pediatricians in the Sobrarbe region.

Along with men and women, other characters aroused the public’s curiosity: the one wrapped in a large sack full of dry grass, always accompanied by a tamer, who seized him with iron chains and dragged him throughout the town; HE farm, a cardboard doll symbolizing an old woman on whose back a man rides; HE horse, a kind of horse; THE garter, a costume based on colored scarves; and the ivy (ivy), wearing a dress lined with leaves.

In the second year, Manuel Cazcarra, 28 years old, tamed the bear. Live the party “with intensity, because it is something that is very much ours.” About his character, he says that he represents the “wild spring awakening.” He carried the animal with a chain and both handled and beat it. At other times, he wears an onso or a thong. “Currently, there are many young people in the town who are living this tradition. Every year, a draw is made to see who gets it.” His clothing is the least established. With jeans, a plaid shirt, wool socks, and sandals, he wears goatskin and has a painted face.

He’s been partying for two days, and it shows in his voice. The central event of the carnival, with the round of different characters, takes place this afternoon, but the Belsetans celebrate for two days. It started on Thursday with a famous rib and will end on Sunday with the burning of Cornelio. Even the rain, which always appears, has managed to change the most important time of the year for this town in the Pyrenees.

World Nation News Desk
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