Friday 10th February 2023
Mike Smith with Álvaro Monfort
The first ever DÍA DE LES PENYES organised by the Fogueres Commission proved to be a great success with more than 750 people turning out for a special winter festival outside of the usual June festive programme. Traditionally, the penyas have played a fun day as part of the Sant Joan celebration, but on this occasion, the Commission wanted to start warming up their engines and motivate the participation of their members months before the summer event.
The Sant Joan penyas are one of the elements that bring more dynamism to the party. Hence, it is so important that they add up when it comes to preparing and organizing the Fogueres fiesta. The 65 groups (760 people in total) who gathered last Saturday in the Riurau d’Arnauda are a reflection of the good health enjoyed by this indispensable part of the celebration.
Colorful shirts and special sweatshirts were created for the occasion to combat the February cold, although the good weather was an ally as the sun brought a very comfortable winter warmth to the enclosure. There was also a great atmosphere as the penyas mingled together throughout this day of brotherhood. The penyas who wanted it were also able to immortalize their participation in a photocall created for the occasion and giving the opportunity for the photographs to be used for the traditional image in the Fogueres Fiesta Book.
Early in the morning, the Fogueres Commission prepared a large barbecue as a communal brunch. Afterwards, the different penyas gathered together to participate in the fun popular games that were played, including musical chairs and balloons.
However, it was after noon when things got serious. Around 1.30pm, the paella contest began in which each penya brought out its first gastronomic swords. The Commission provided the rice and the 65 penyes provided the rest. There were elaborations of all kinds, but only one winner. The young penya COM ELS KIKOS cooked what, according to the jury, was the best paella of all.
Later, the attendees were able to enjoy the music of the group Juntos & Revueltos. Undoubtedly, this first edition has been a success, showing that local festivals and traditions can and should be constantly evolving.
Original Article (Xàbia AL DÍA): Éxito de participación en el primer Dia de Penyes invernal celebrado por la fiesta de Fogueres