Not until you finish reading this post can you understand the title of it, which, on the other hand, is difficult to write because it refers to local traditions in my little village. As you probably know and I have mentioned sometimes in this virtual space, I was born in a little village in the middle of nowhere. And, as many other village all over the country, carnivals are celebrated but there with some particular characteristics.

In my village carnivals are tied to ?los quintos?. It requires an explanation, of course. Years ago military service was compulsory, so every year youngster who turns 18 received the new about where they were going to do their military service. In those years, my village had not yet suffered depopulation; hence many young people were the main protagonist of the carnival. Thursday is the most important day during this fest, on the morning all people dress with outdated clothes, trunks are opened and people are brave enough to put on whatever, it doesn?t matter the result. Moreover, there is another tradition. People use a burnt cork to blacken friends; especially men interested in some woman do this.

Bullfighting is a normal activity during fests in many villages, nevertheless it is too expensive for such a little one, and it is probably the reason why “los quintos” stroll through the village with a fictitious steer. With fake horns they simulate lunge people. The fake bullfight is performed in the village square and afterward it is time to dance, to drink and to eat. Very rarely have I stayed in the village during carnival due to I studied in another city, as a consequence of this I am writing about my invented village, although of course, it cannot be compared with Isabel Allende in My invented Country.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nowadays young people don?t have to go to do military service, even so, every year those who reach the age of majority are the protagonist during carnival. That?s why to some extent carnival could be compared with debut party celebrated by other people, which could be considered as a rite of passage to the manhood.

How was recognized your passage to the manhood? Did you have some kind of debut party? Or did you receive a present? Or, as it was my case, nothing special happened. As always, all your comments are welcome.

This page is also available in: Espa?ol