Thursday, 10 October 2013

Oviedo – San Mateo

San Mateo is the biggest festival in Oviedo which takes place on the third week of September. It is a 10 day long festival full of fun and laughter and is especially great for children.

From the first day of the week the festivities were in full swing. The streets were decorated (we suspect they reuse the lights at Christmas), there were programs for the children every day from 17.00 in the central park of the town. Many stalls were set up that sold food, drinks and cheap but strong cocktails, the sidre was flowing and there were free concerts in 5 different squares of the city every night.

Our favourite concert was the Oviedo Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance that was held in the big square in front of the Cathedral. 

We assumed they would play classical music and we walked over in case we might hear something interesting. Instead we found a party going on! They invited the Italian Tamburi of Vesuvius and played world music from the city of Napoli. The songs they played where upbeat and got the audience clapping and dancing. Amongst the instruments in the orchestra there were folk instruments as well and some of the songs were based on these, showing us strange sounds and never-before-heard tunes. They also had a dancer who enhanced the party feeling. Paul took a few videos of the music. In the first one the female singer uses castanets.

In the second the dancer is performing at the end of a piece. 

In the third the female singer and the dancer dance together using castanets. Their styles were completely different and it was very interesting to compare the two.

The biggest and most popular event of the San Mateo however is the Día de America, the Day of America and the Parade that pays homage to the Asturians who left their home during the industrial era to try their luck in America and the countries who accepted them. During the parade many countries of America are represented on floats and the show is full of colour, dance and music. We found it extremely interesting. Here is the Parade in Pictures. Can you guess the countries?


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