Saturday 8 March 2014

things that go bump in the night

Step out on to the street tonight and find the world has turned upside down.
The streets pulse with the noise of the samba band. The rhythm chases my feet down the street and a hundred, thousand rain drops are shouting silvery excitement.   

A strange creature  rattles through the village tonight, surrounded by a thronging crowd. A low moan follows us down narrow stone pathways.

Yet even as I’m staring open mouthed at this otherworldly spectacle, bundled up in layers of clothing, in an Arctic defying jumper and a scarf wrapped around my face, strange creatures walk past me: ghosts and ghouls, vampires and witches and a whole host of other-worldy things that go bump in the night. The night seems populated with the abnormal side of humanity...and I'm not along in my wonder. The villagers and tourists look on in disbelief.

We take Monsieur Carnaval to the village square, put him on trial and sentence him to a burning. Before the touch paper is lit, we hurl abuse at him.

Where are all the feral people tonight? Tonight isn’t for sitting in by the fire and drinking tea. It’s a night for howling at the night, at the winter.

Carnival is one of my favourite parts of the Pyrenean calender. It's a reminder that winter is still here...but not getting the better of us.

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