Saturday 28 January 2017

Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos Province.

A brilliant day at the Fiesta de Los Jefes in Santo Domingo de Silos with Jayne, Santi and Howard.
Santi's family all ready for the Fiesta.

Santi in a traditonal black cape for the parade.
I started the day with a walk with Patch down to the camping ground where I saw Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Great Spotted (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and Green Woodpeckers (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Cirl (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax). Later back at Santis I was watching the birds in the garden when I notice all the Feral Pigeons (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) from the Monastrey roof were flying around agitated, I then saw a rather large female Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) make several passes over the village which explained why the Pigeon were so unhappy.
Getting drinks and food at one of the Captains houses.
The Fiesta started at 12:00 when everyone met in the main square and then made their way around the village calling in at several houses to collect the Captains of the Parade and to have drinks and cakes/sweets at each stop before going to the Monastry and then returning to the square for more drinks and cakes at the hotel.
Jayne and Howard having a drink in the main square.
Later in the afternoon we went back down to a spot just of the main square recommended by Santi to watch the Las Crestas, which is basically lots of men and women on horses riding around a track in the cobbled streets trying to pull the head of a dead chicken which is on a rope over the road. It sounds awful but is much better than it used to be many many years ago as the chicken was alive back then and today the chicken is used afterwards and not wasted. They only use a couple of chickens but the show continues for some time as they replace the bird with many lengths of Chorizo and the riders continue to try and get them but the guys on the rope give it a tug to make things harder.
Later in the day we were out again for the fires in the streets and the parade of the torch carrying gangs on foot and horses. The evening finished with soup around the fire in the main square. A brilliant day which we enjoyed very much, thank you Santi for inviting us up to watch this event.

This Captain spent a lot of time throwing his flag around during the day.
The Captains outside the Monastery.
Trying to get the Chorizo.
A winner.

One of the Captains.

Going for the Chicken.

Night time torch carriers.

More torches.

and even more.
Around the fire in the main square at the end of a great day.

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