Thursday, February 5, 2015

On Las Águedas day, women rule

Saint Agatha in a painting by Zurbarán. Public Domain
A day in which women have the power? Yes, it’s today and the occasion is known as Las Águedas. It is celebrated in various towns and villages across Spain, Salamanca and its province among them.

The festivitie commemorates the history of Saint Agatha of Sicily, considered to be protector of women.The martyr decided to stay a virgin, something that would bring her enormous pain and suffering. After she turned down the proconsul of Sicily’s sexual propositions, young Agatha was tortured and her breasts were cut off. Saint Peter healed her wounds during a visión, but the tortures continued and she was knocked over live coal.

On February, 5th, day of the saint, women have the power. In many councils they are handed a sceptre of command. Special Masses and parades are held.

But the festivity is not exclusively religious. Numerous groups of female friends gather to party on the streets. Some choose to wear the traje charro (regional costume) and plunge into traditional dances. One of the most popular spots for this in Salamanca is, of course, plaza Mayor, the main square:

The celebrations continue around a table, where women have lunch or dinner, be it at restaurants or at some association’s premises. It can also last til late at night: a lot of bars and night clubs offer shows especially for women

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