Spain does love their festivals! If I've learned nothing else from this country, I know that the Spaniards find any excuse to celebrate. This time, it was a historical one with June 9th being La Rioja Day and June 11th being San Bernabé. It's funny because my Fulbright Year began with a Spanish festival called San Mateo and ended with San Bernabé. Though a bittersweet reminder that my time in Logroño was coming to an end, fittingly my last full weekend was full of Spanish music, wine, fiestas and friends.
San Bernabé is a holiday that celebrates the French being pushed out by the Logroñeses in the 1800s. From what I was told by co-workers, the French blocked the Spaniards in Logroño and they were cut off from their food supply. However, there were tunnels under the city that led to the Ebro River where Logroñeses were able to catch fish and feed their people. Thus, on June 11th of every year, they give out a free fish sandwich and celebrate the whole weekend with markets, a re-enactment of the battle that ensued and lots of good food.
I'm a sucker for summer festivals; they make me soooo excited for summer and the Spaniards agree! It was cool to see them all out and about enjoying themselves despite the heat. There were parades with people in traditional Spain costumes of the 1800s, marching, singing and shooting guns in the air to signify the battle sounds that contributed to the Logroño victory. I wasn't too fond of those going off randomly, but I appreciated knowing more about Spanish history up here in the north.
Oh and the FOOD! Yummy! I love traveling mainly because of the food so anytime it's there, I'm there. I had amazing couscous and falafel at the Moroccan food stand and a refreshing strawberry mojito at El Rincón de Chao. I was also fond of the jewelry! I love buying jewelry during festivals because it's always unique. Weekends like these I will miss with the friends I've made here. But, I know we'll all be seeing each other soon and colliding our worlds with friends from back home too. Now if only the U.S. can be as cheap as Logroño...
Do you like going to summer festivals? Have any favorites or recommendations? Drop them below!
I'd rather splurge on a good meal than a nice hotel, wine than water and plane tickets than club covers. Traveling and eating are my two favorite things, so follow my journey to see where I go and eat next! I'm just living my best life.