Today is Zaragoza’s San Valero Festival, a day to celebrate the city’s patron saint, San Valero. Normally throughout the day there are all events, majorly around the square of Plaza de los Sitios. Loads of workshops, concerts and food stalls are displayed for families and kids.
San Valero was the bishop of Zaragoza in the 4th century AD. He was persecuted by the Roman Emperor Diocleciano. The Catholic church then worships him as a saint, and Zaragoza enshrines him as the patron saint of the city.
The highlight of the festival may be when the city hall brings out a gigantic " Roscón de Reyes" and hundreds of cups of thick hot chocolate to share with people. This scenario easily reminds us of the Laba Festival in China, when almost every temple dishes out the Eight-Treasure Porridge to share with the public.
当市政厅端出巨大的“Roscón de Reyes”和千百杯浓情巧克力供大家分享的那一刻，节日达到高潮。这个场景令人想起中国的腊八节，各个寺庙施粥送福的景象。
Roscón de Reyes is a unique Spanish dissert actually for Epiphany, or the Three Kings Day, on January 6, which is only several days ago. In the early evening of January 5, the Biblical Three Kings, or three Wisemen, ride into town on horses bearing gifts and candy for the children of Zaragoza, so there are costumed parades across the city during the night. The next day, January 6, the kids wake up to tons of presents left by the generous Three Kings.
“Roscón de Reyes”是西班牙特产甜点，实际上是主显节的节日食品。主显节是1月6日（又称“三王节”），不过在十几天前而已。节前的1月5日晚，圣经里的三王（又称“东方三贤人”）骑马降临萨拉戈萨城中，还携带着糖果等礼品，盛装游行穿城而过。第二天，孩子们醒来的时候，身边堆满了三位国王慷慨赐予的礼物。
Spain is one of the countries in the world with the most "días festivos" (holiday days) per year. This is admirable, isn’t it! Zaragoza is probably more so, because “Zaragoza is many cultures”—the Roman origins, the Islamic influence, and the confluence of nationalities and religions, all result in a plural and diverse Zaragoza.
Seems we will have series of Holiday Specials in the coming days!
Zaragozans, like the majority of Spanish people, are therefore living with blessings, optimism and enthusiasm. Cablescom team testifies this with their unity and hard-won achievements in the face of past year’s difficulties.
Happy San Valero Festival!
Later we were told that in the photo above, the lady is wearing the traditional Aragonese costume. It’s the Spanish Manton, or Manila Shawl, which is a Spanish emblem, used also for Flamenco. The amazing part is, the shawl is actually originated in China!
We looked into history, and found that it’s true! Manila Shawl is so called because it was entrepot-traded in Manila during the 16-19 centuries AD. The shawls were embroidery products of China, transported to Manila, which served as a big entrepot then, and further shipped to Spain and over to the Europe.
16-19 centuries are the Ming and Qing dynasties in China. During that time, Suzhou textile products, including embroidery, tapestry, among others, were transported to Quanzhou and Guangzhou (Canton) and then flourished on the maritime Silk Road. Taking this into consideration, we may reasonably infer that, Suzhou textile product may have played some role in shaping the Manila Shawl.
Imagine: Flamenco dancing with Suzhou shawls, a splendid Hengtong and Cablescom story.