jueves, 23 de agosto de 2012

The horse and the crop: rice in Valencia for next paella

THE horse and the rice mowing: summer in Valencia.

Summer mowing has been a religious festivity for peoples of the Mediterranean Seashore during thousands of years, with offerings and contests of all kinds about bravery, generosity and gallantry.. The offering of the first fruits of the mowing and harvesting was already regulated in the ancient codes of the Hebrew Bible. Songs, dances, body expression and emulation among young people to conquer maidens and boys was another feature of these festivals of prehistoric times.
We focus this summer on the equestrian competitions of both shores of the Mediterranean Sea. First at the North of Africa, Morocco give us an example. During the harvest of the month of may culminates the harvest of wheat with popular exhibitions of crafts and an increase of human relationships. To the South of Tangier, a few kilometers away from Larache, at the end of may is held a competition of riding horses bareback by young people competing for a doll, as a token of love for a beloved one. The festival takes place as the culmination of the spring and as a symbol of plenty and blossoming of young forces of nature.

We return  to the Middle-South of Spain, to Valencia. To the end of summer and the mowing of another important product in our Mediterranean diet, the rice crop. During the 15th August at Pinedo, at the entrance of the rice fields and Natural Ressorce Albufera Lake, on the golden sand of the Beach at sunset another similar competition of horsemen and horsewomen takes place. The stage is somehow special, to the north the Valencian Port and Sport Marina and the Avandgarditst Komplex of the City of Arts and Sciences, to the west the green rice fields as a no end green meadow. .
The contender fight for the prize, just a tissue or yellow handkerchief (mocador, jóia or jewel).
For some people, the festival dates back to the end of XIXth century and represents the competition between beasts of burden. According to others they compete to test the speed of farm animals. . Analogies with the careers of Morocco allow us to also identify as a feast of the harvest which demonstrates the skills of young people for a prize in the presence of female fans. Only one modern change. Pinedo allows the presence of the Amazons in these challenges between two or three riders, and it is women who now get the best positions, when one thoroughbred ridden by a courteous rider let her by.

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