Las Meigas in the San Roque de Betanzos
The < / span> HOGUERAS-88 , did not end with the end of June as usual; That year, the Meigas would still find a new surprise in August.
From the beginning July, we cherish the idea of initiating an exchange with some other party held in Galicia. Immediately we set our eyes on the neighboring and beautiful city of Betanzos de los Caballeros, with its magnificent festivities in honor of its patron, San Roque, with the elevation of the majestic paper balloon, work of the Pita family and its magical turn to Los Caneiros.
The first We established contact, by the hand of Novoa Cisneros, Luisa’s father, a Meiga of Honor of that year, with the Councilor of Fiestas de Betanzos, our friend Lito Miguez and next to him, with another good friend Paco Teijo. Soon the talks began to close that agreement.
I remember that Unforgettable night betanceira. We meet in a dream place, unfortunately already disappeared, “El Banana”. There we talk about everything a little, about everything divine and human, forging a great friendship that persists today and there we designed the exchange program that began that August, on the occasion of the Major Festivities of Betanzos. span>
The Town Hall of the beautiful medieval city, it was governed by the Mayor Lagares, of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, and the Queen of the Fiestas of that year was a niece of the first mayor, Marian Lagares.
The program The exchange brought with it the invitation of the Major Meiga to the coronation act of Marían Lagares as Queen of the Festivities, solemn and elegant act that was celebrated, with all pomp and circumstance, in the Plaza de la Constitución, on the afternoon of the 14th August.
With such reason, we moved to the city of Betanzos, José González Dopeso, president of the Advisory Board; two more members, one from the Board of Directors of the Promoter Commission and another from the Advisory Board, and myself, accompanying the Meiga Mayor, Silvia Fernández and three of her Meigas de Honor. They with the Official Gala Costume and we with our impure tuxedo, required for the event.
The ceremony proclamation was brilliant; the perfectly decorated frame and the wonderful surroundings of the old part of Betanzos, contributed to further enhance that coronation.
Later That same night, we attended the “American dinner”, served in the “Rey Brigo” Party Hall – I don’t know if it still exists – which concluded with a dance that the Mayor opened with the Queen of the Holidays.
Up to date Next, accompanying the Major Child Meiga, Elena Vázquez, daughter of Mayor Francisco Vázquez, and three of her Childhood Meigas of Honor, we attended the proclamation of the Children’s Queen of the Holidays, in the same framework as her major homonymous on the day Previous, also celebrated very brilliantly.
In the big day of the festivities, on August 16, the festival of San Roque, patron of the city since in the Middle Ages the people implored their protection to free them from an epidemic of plague, the Bonfires Commission was invited to the main acts of the day.
Half later, in the Plaza de la Constitución, the official delegation of the Vote Function was formed. A colorful and colorful civic procession, headed by the Mayor and the Municipal Corporation, under maces, accompanied by the Giants and Bigheads; Sheriffs; Soldiers of the old Provincial Regiment of Betanzos, uniformed in the style of the late eighteenth century; little straws; the Municipal Band; Groups of guild dances and, of course, the Queens of the Fiestas, major and child, with their respective Courts of Honor. Next to them, the Meigas of the Bonfires of San Juan.
The entourage it was formed – I suppose it continues to do so -, as I have indicated, in the Plaza de la Constitución, going down Castro and Porta da Vila streets, until it flows into García Hermanos square, to go to the church of Santo Domingo, where it regularly celebrates the Vote Function.
The Queen of the Fiestas and their Court of Honor, dressed in their proclamation costumes, accompanied by young people dressed in etiquette who, in Betanzos, receive the affectionate nickname of “give”; on the other hand, the Meiga Mayor and the Meigas de Honor, accompanied by us, with the same clothing as the youth who gave the arm to the Meigas, and by a representation of the Meigas Honor Guard. span>
Started on parade of the entourage, before hundreds of people, in the middle of Porta da Vila, I witnessed one of those sympathetic anecdotes, so common in HOGUERAS and what happened to narrate.
You have to imagine Silvia Fernández Toba, beautiful and radiant, with her long blonde hair, wearing her elegant Black Proclamation Costume, wearing her Major Meiga Band with national colors, accompanied by her Meigas de Honor, beautiful and elegant like her, solemnly coming down from the Plaza de la Constitución through the streets indicated above, from the arm of José González Dopeso.
Well then , at the height of the middle of the route, almost entering the Hermanos García Naveira square, contemplating the procession of the entourage, there were two elderly countrymen, with their berets stuck in their heads, who did not lose sight of Silvia or his Meigas of Honor, and so, when she reached her height, one of them, with total naturalness, exclaimed “these are mulleres and non as nosas!”
I couldn’t As much as I smile when listening to that comment that has been recorded in the retina of my memories and still, today, makes me smile every time I comment with someone. < / p>
But the anecdotes of that afternoon, they did not conclude there, since when arriving at the church, one of the priests, I think that the pastor of Santo Domingo, popularly known in Betanzos with the nickname of “I live singing”, addressed the Major Meiga and He told her that if she didn’t cover her shoulders she wouldn’t let her into the church, so she had to get someone to lend her a black shawl, to match her dress, to be able to go to the Vote Function, whose offering was presented, as is traditional, by the Mayor.
That same night, already dressed in the street, we went, next to the Queen of the Parties, its court and companions, to a floor, located in front of the Tower of Santo Domingo, where we witnessed the wonder of seeing how the traditional balloon slowly ascended to the skies of Betanzos, carrying in his soul the popular prayer to the Patron Saint of the city, thanking him for the favors received.
Our participation in the Betanzos festivities it did not end there, since, on the day of the 18th, we went, in the boat of the Queen of the Festivities, to the poetic tour of the Caneiros, a beautiful excursion, navigating the course of the Mandeo river, until reach such an idyllic spot.
It was a unforgettable day that ended at dusk, descending the river, back to the Old Bridge, burning in a waterfall of fireworks, and delighting us with the best seafood splash that I ever tasted in my life, simply apotheosic, unstoppable, unrepeatable. span>
As colophon , I think I remember that it was on the 25th or 26th, when, as the end of the holidays, the Queen’s mother, known in Betanzos as “the queen mother”, presented us, inviting us to a massive dinner held at the “King Brigo” , which constituted a repetition of the “American” on the night of the 14th, even on a larger scale.
And so on , was that experience in which the Meigas lived, live, the magnificent parties of Betanzos de los Caballeros, an experience that, unfortunately, had no continuity in time, although yes, of which we keep very pleasant memories.
José Eugenio Fernández Barallobre.