GOOD BYE CITIZENS!

Our time writting this blog is over, and it is time to say goodbye. These two months have been a great experience not only for writing the posts but for learning about my colleges’ countries as well. As I have expressed through my posts, Spain is a very cultural-varied country and many traditions are arranged in its land.

On my first post I presented the country giving my personal experience about what I have seen on what the cultural diversity refers. I also talked about –probably- the most known festival on Spain, San Fermin.

The following week I focused my attention to the Fallas of Valencia, the festival where gigant statues made of poliespan are put around all the streets of the city and burned during the cremà.

On the third week I gave some information about the main sources in where I found information for my posts. Those webpages are also orientated to tourists that are looking for a trip to Spain or for those who are just looking for information about its culture and festivals.

My fourth post was more orientated into one person specifically, as he is one of the most –if not the most- important personalities in Spain’s recent history, Adolfo Suarez. He was the one in charge to make Spain a democratic country after more than forty years of Franco’s dictatorship.

The next week I choose the San Fermin festival to talk about its presence on social media. I taught that as it is considered the most famous Spanish festival in the world its impact on social media would be huge.

As on Adolfo Suarez’s post, on the sixth week I decided to take a look on the past again, and this time, with this year’s 75 anniversary of its ending, I choose the Spanish Civil war. The war, as I explain on the post, changed Spain’s whole society, and its ending meant the instauration of a dictatorship.

To end this post I would like to say thank you to all the readers that have taken a bit of their time to take a look to the blog.

Good bye citizens!

“THE WAR IS OVER”

Last April 1, took place the 75th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War. Maybe it was not the most celebrated day this year; however the war caused a strong impact on Spain, not only culturally but politically, socially and economically. This is the reason why this date must be remembered once in a while and should be mentioned, at least, on the 75th anniversary pf its ending.

Seeing the political division that the II Republic was having at that time, part of the army agreed to do a coup d’état that finally took place the night of July 17 to 18 of 1936. This action led into a war, that lasted for three years (from July 17 of 1936 to April 1 of 1939), between the people that were in favor of the coup (called nationals) and those who supported the State (called republicans).

Image owned by Info Guerra Civil

Image owned by Info Guerra Civil

The disunity on the republican’s side led into disaster and on April 1 of 1939, Fernando Fernández de Córdoba proclaimed the victory of the nationals on Spain´s National Radio whith this message “Today, being captive and unarmed the Red Army, national troops have reached their last military objectives. War is over”. The document that he red was signed by Francisco Franco, who became dictator of the country from that date until his death on November 20 of 1975.

The war led 268.000 deaths taking on account warriors, international militias and civils on both sides. This is one of the reasons why the Civil War is considered the worst disaster on Spain’s history of the XX century, also the dictatorship that came afterwards was based on oppression, fear and death for the non-supporters of the leading party, which considered itself as fascist.

The 1st of April of 1939 meant the end of a war but also the begging of a regime based on despotism that finally ended on 1975 with Franco´s death and the instauration of democracy with Adolfo Suarez.

SAN FERMIN AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA

There is not a single festival on the whole Spain about which no one talks about in the social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even flickr receive posts, text and image nearly every second during these events. Those towns hose festivals are more popular even make contests to post the best photo, video or story about them. Specifically San Fermín, the festival that takes place in Pamplona (Navarra), is becoming more and more present on social media every year that passes by.

A lot of bloggers such as The Vagabond International have post about it. This blogger has travelled through Spain and Latin America and decided to stop in Pamplona to spend a few days on the worldwide known festival San Fermin. In this post A Foreigner’s Guide to San Fermin: A Few Wise Words before You Start Chugging Sangria she gives some tips on what to do, wear, eat and drink in order to not get lost in such a crowded event.

Owned by Ruben Albarrán

Owned by Ruben Albarrán

Instagram plays a very important role on to what San Fermin on the social media concerns. If you put the hashtag #sanfermin, 41.350 publications appear, and if you put #sanfermin2014, 7.099. It has even taken place a contest on San Fermin´s photos. The contest was held by the Spanish bank Santander and 954 photos were presented to it. The best among them according to the jury was “Enfilando la Estafeta” by Rubén Albarrán Beltrán that we can see on or right.

San Fermín has also its official Facebook page. Here, during the festivity all the events that take place during the nine days are posted, containing also information about the further year’s San Fermin festival.

San Fermin´s presence on twitter is something that worths mentioning. Apart from the hashtags, there are a lot of twitter accounts that talk exclusively about the festival. For example San Fermin Live is a very important one but there is also San Fermin and  San Fermin Info that have a lot of folowers.

THE FATHER OF SPAIN’S DEMOCRACY

During the more than three thousand years that Spain has, a lot of prominent characters have passed through its lands. This country has given birth to plenty of historians, politicians, writers, kings and philosophers that have made Spain the country that it is now, that is why choosing one of them is a really difficult task as each of them deserves a post for their own.

However one of the most important characters on Spain’s recent history is Adolfo Suarez, he was a key character on the Spanish transition, the process in which the country turned from a dictatorial country to a democratic one. Born in Cerberos (Avila) the 25th of September of 1932, he entered into the low school of Salamanca and on 1955 he already had his first job as a lawyer. Then, a couple of years later he got the doctorate in law by the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.

Franco (owned by forum por la memoria)

Franco (owned by forum por la memoria)

At that time Spain was under a dictatorial regime carried by the General Francisco Franco, but, when he died the 20th of November of 1975, the king of Spain Juan Carlos I took the power and asked Adolfo to be the president until a new constitution had been redacted and democratic elections had taken place.

Spanish Constitution (Owned by wikisource)

Spanish Constitution (Owned by wikisource)

His task was not easy; he had to convince all the political parties that were starting to proliferate -with very different ideas- to sign the constitution in order to create a democratic country.

Adolfo Suarez does not have a certain festivity to celebrate his achievements, but he indeed was one of the fathers of Spain´s actual constitution, so we can say that the 6 of December, the day in which we celebrate its proclamation, is also his day. Also, I considered important to dedicate this post to him as he passed out this year (the 23th of March) and he is one of them most important characters of Spain´s recent history.

FIRE BASED ON TRADITION

Among all the different traditions and festivals that Spain has “Las Fallas” are one of the most important and famous of the country. This festival, that takes place in Valencia and lasts from the 1st of March to the 20th, completely transforms the city. Everything starts with the mascletá, a noisy display of firework that takes place every day since the first of March to the 20th on the Town Hall Square at 2p.m., then, the night of the 15th of march more than 700 fallas (gigant statues made of poliespan) are put around all the streets of the city, on the act known as plantà. This giant statues can reach up to 20 meters high and most of them are satirical representations and caricatures criticizing politicians, celebrities or expressing the most relevant events or news that had taken place through the year.

falla

Owned by Bungalows Club

However, the most important event on this festival is the cremà. On the night of the 15th of March, the whole city turns into an explosion of color and music when all the fallas, except one selected by popular vote, are burned at the same time in the street that they have been exposed in. The falla that “saves” from burning is sent to the Fallero Museum, where all the fallas that citizens have been selected through the years are exposed.

This festivity has its origins on the ancient tradition of the carpenters of the city who, the previous day of their patron (Saint Joshua), used to burn all the old and useless things on their workshops right in front of their shops or on the public squares. This tradition started to change, and, little by little the rest of the citizens started to participate putting into it their social-criticism point of view, but always on an ironic and funny way.

Edurne Larumbe

THREE WEBPAGES INTO THE WORLD OF FIESTA

As I mentioned on my other post, Spain has a lot of different festivals and customs according to the cultural diversity that it has had through history, however this singularity could be difficult to explain, that is why I have chosen three webpages that do it very well.

Each region of this ancient country has its own particular tradition and festival and all of them are gathered on the official Spain´s tourism webpage. Here you can find all the cultural activities that this wonderful country offers. This events are as different as the Pilar festivals in Saragossa,the mistery of Elche theatre or San José Fallas celebration in Valencia. It also has a very useful map that shows you the most important festivals, its location and information about them. This webpage also offers other kinds of tourism such as artistic or gastronomical.

Las Fallas de Valencia

Image by viajero turismo

Another webpage that also contains a lot of information about the different festivals that take place in Spain is Marca españa. However, this webpage, which also belongs to the state, is more general, it mentions the most-known festivals and traditions along the country. That is the reason why it is perfect for someone that wants to know a bit of every region but doesn’t have time to take a deep look on each of them. It also talks about other fields of the Spanish culture apart from the festivals such as social inclusion or history.

Spanish fiestas is the perfect site for a foreigner to get to know the different festivals that take place in Spain each month. As I said the events are monthly classified so the tourist can arrange its trip depending on the time of the year that he or she is planning to go. It also describes each festival very accurately and gives advises on where to sleep or eat during the tourist’s stay in that concrete city.

Edrurne Larumbe

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Hi, my name is Ana Isabel Garcia. Born and raised in Guatemala, located in Central America. I`m 20 years old, starting my first year in Universidad de Navarra; lucky to have this big opportunity of studying abroad. Im writting to tell the world a little bit of my home country and let them know how pretty it is, please if you have any questions, comments, criticism, ask me; I will gladly answer you.

I am Iraida Bethencourt, born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Because of the country’s situation my family and I moved to the United States a couple of years ago and there, found a second home. A couple of years later, I find myself in Spain doing my studies in the University of Navarra. I realize what great experiences I have had throughout my life living and adjusting to these different countries, but in this blog I will share the experiences from the country that raised me: Venezuela.

Hello! I am Edurne Larumbe and I was born and raised in Pamplona, Spain. Through the years I have travelled around my country and I have seen the different traditions that this ancient country has. Here I will write about this different traditions that my country has. Hope you enjoy it!

Hi, my name is Ana Jordán. I’m from Pamplona, Spain but since I was a little girl my parents took me on holidays to different countries around the world. Even though, I decided to be in charge of United States because apart from Spain it is the only place in which I have been living .  I thought that my experiences being a member of two different American host families could be interesting for the topic. I will explain you their most important events, what is the tradition about and what they use to do. Feel free to ask, comment or suggest in any of my post. Thanks for visiting.

Hi, my name is Fernando Gonzalez and I am 18 years old. I was born in El Salvador, a small country in Central America, where I lived my entire life until this year, when I moved over to Spain to study at Universidad de Navarra. I am hoping to show you what I think they are the most beautiful things of my country, and also hoping to learn other things about the different cultures that surround me. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading our blog and we hope you enjoy it!