Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dos de Mayo: The Day

On the second of May (dos de mayo) 1808, the people of Madrid rebelled against the occupation of the city by Napoleon's troops. The French quickly repressed the rebellion and executed hundreds of prisoners. That brutality added fuel to the fire of the Spanish resistance and rebellions began in cities all over Spain. Although Dos de Mayo is a public holiday in Madrid, it is not a holiday in Sevilla. But it is remembered on our plaza, home to a statue dedicated to Luis Daoíz, a local hero of the rebellion. (Our plaza is also home to that wonderful tapas restaurant called Dos de Mayo.)

STATUE TO LUIS DAOÍZ AND THE DOS DE MAYO REBELLION.

When we left our house in the morning, we noticed the plaza being decorated. El Sanedrín was not open, so we had to walk a block to Niños del Flor for breakfast. I joked with Jerry, "Uh oh, looks like another holiday." I found out that afternoon from Teré that El Sanedrín had decided to stop serving breakfast and to open later in the day. What a tragedy for us! When we returned from breakfast, chairs were being set up in the plaza. I went upstairs thinking I'd go back down in a bit to see what was happening. A few minutes later, I heard drums. So I raced downstairs and opened our front door to be greeted by a marching band. This is not the first time Sevillanos have welcomed me with a parade. And, no matter how many times they honor me in this way, I am always moved.

WHAT I SAW WHEN I OPENED THE FRONT DOOR.

A small crowd had already gathered and many of the seats were taken. There may even have been a few guests who participated in the 1808 rebellion.

OK. I exaggerate, but one very sweet lady did tell me when I helped her to a seat that she had just turned 99.  There were a couple of speeches honoring the heroes of that long-ago war and then a medals ceremony honoring recent heroes. I didn't understand it all, but I got the gist and it was nice to not have to go a day without some kind of special event in Sevilla.

THE MUSIC MAKERS.

MEDAL RECIPIENTS (AT RIGHT, FACING THE CAMERA).
SIX WOMEN RECEIVED MEDALS, WHICH ELICITED A CHEER AND APPLAUSE FROM THE ENTIRE CROWD.

MY NEW FAVORITE HAT.

IT'S ALL IN THE ATTITUDE.

15 comments:

  1. Gee...you get a welcome from a parade...all I get as I drive back into Dania Beach is that everyone in the city flushes their toilet in unison.

    saludos,
    raulito

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raulito:
      Maybe you shouldn't complain. A 21-toilet salute is quite... um... moving...

      Delete
  2. Hello Mitch:
    It is the same with us. These commemorations of some long forgotten [by the rest of us] war which take the form of a parade and justify another day not at work are a familiar sight, we think, all over Europe. But such fun!

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    Replies
    1. J&L:
      I didn't mention that there were four large groups of students of differing ages brought there to lay flowers at the memorial. It was I'm sure a great history lesson for them. I hope the novelty for me of these events never wears off.

      Delete
  3. I do so love a parade, and now i'll be flinging open my door every morning expecting one!

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    1. Bob:
      I have grown accustomed to it. I haven't heard if there's anything planned for me next week. But I don't mind if I have to walk a few blocks to be honored. It doesn't always have to be right outside my door. The neighbors might start to resent it.

      Delete
  4. Agent Mitch, your task - should you choose to accept it - is to discover and document a day in Seville that does not have a public holiday, parade or festival attached to it! That place is amazing - one day after another! This comment will self-destruct in ten seconds. Diez nueve ocho siete seis cinco ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Owl Wood:
      So glad you weren't part of the Mission Impossible team. The message didn't self-destruct. Now everyone knows.

      There haven't been any parades (for me or anyone else) as of yet today, but there's still time.

      Delete
    2. We really need to check into living a few months in Seville.. so much going on... so much to see... AND.. a parade nearly every day! So far, the bachelor party and the flamenco dresses are running neck-to-neck as my favorites... but, wait! maybe that was the same event!

      Delete
    3. The Odd Essay:
      I think living in Sevilla for a few months is a great idea. There's also an exceptional national park/nature preserve nearby.

      Those were two separate parties. Couldn't you tell by the style? The bachelor party "lady" was so much more sophisticated.

      Delete
  5. You know why the Guardia Civil have those tricornio caps? So they can nap against a wall without tipping their caps over their eyes.

    Nowadays that cap is only worn at official ceremonies, like this parade, since all GC received a new outfit last year consisting of baseball caps, green polo shirts, "cargo" pants with six pockets and jackets with a detachable fleece lining.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter:
      It's amazing what I learn from you. I was too lazy to do the research. I DID see a lot of soldiers in the new uniform you describe. Much more "commando" looking. Thanks for the info!

      Delete
  6. Luis Daoiz has nothing on you, Mitch! I believe there is enough room in your plaza for both of you!
    Can you manage having a statue in your honour!? Must be a real rush if you live long enough to see it!
    I keep thinking Mitch what an interesting place Spain/Sevilla is. And you are truly showing us this with every post! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be: Can you imagine having....

      Delete
    2. Jim:
      It is great having you along for the exploration!

      I didn't even notice your typo (my automatic translator processed it). And, no, I can't imagine (or manage) having a statue in my honor. I don't even like photos of myself. Three-dimension me? Argh!

      Delete

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