`Hoy es un dia triste para Maro`.
Yesterday I heard and read these words many times. It translates as `Today is a sad day for Maro`. The 7th September is always the first day of what is usually a huge event for our village. The annual Feria. The celebration and worship of the Patron Saint of Maro- The Festividad Nuestra Senora de Las Maravillas.( The Virgin of Wonders).
These few days are normally packed full of fun and laughter, prayers and community spirit. A red letter day in the diary of the Mareños.
Music, Flamenco,frilly frocks, horses, food and wine and of course fireworks. Lots of them. Hide your dogs!
There is the amazing procession through the streets, (which takes about two hours), with dozens of men from the village supporting the adorned trono ,an enormous platform on which the feted Virgin stands high above the crowded streets. It is decorated with cascades of beautiful white flowers and candles, and religious or not, it would be hard not to find it moving, and absolutely stunning. It looks almost as if the statue is floating on its own power.
This week there will be no procession, no crowds, no live music and no flamenco. But, in its own inimitable way, Maro is celebrating nonetheless. Yesterday the church and the Virgin was decorated once again, and last night the `holiday` began; with houses in the village, including ours), displaying a picture of the Virgin. Oh, and we went to the bar, (of course) with our friends to celebrate with white wine, Tinto Verano and Tapas!
I have just walked down to the Church to take these photographs of how lovely it all looks. The whole Church was just filled with scent of fresh flowers. Lots of hard work has ensured that the village still feel that there is cause for celebration and joy. The 12 o`clock Mass is being replaced with a service this evening, with extra seats outside in the square. The people of Maro will be dressed up in their finery, and I also know that by lunchtime today the people of Maro will be celebrating by raising a glass or two , (or three or four),in the village bars.
Viva la Virgen y Viva Maro!