AndalUSAns! 😊 Check out a cool pictogram below of “The United States of AndalUSA: proud land of the siesta, tapas, flamenco and chiringuitos. We export the joy of good living!” OK, we’re a few days late in posting, but hey. . . life with kids…. So, (belated) Happy Andalucia Day/Feliz Dia de Andalucia (28 February 2020). Apparently, this was the day in 1980 when the people of this region in southern Spain voted to make Andalusia an autonomous community within Spain.
From the picture, the names of the provinces of Andalucia have a “hybridized” name with a corresponding American state. So, for example, Cordoba and Alabama became Cordolabama and Cadiz (where we live) and California became Cadizfornia, while Almeria and Arizona joined to make Almerizona. You get the point.
Since we live in Jerez. . . what American state or city can we mix with Jerez (aka Xere–the land of sherry, flamenco and dancing horses)? The answer: New Jerezy! 😉 (for New Jersey?)
Much thanks to the unknown creator of the artwork who is a member of Jerez International–an excellent group made up of expats/foreigners and Spanish living here in Jerez de la Frontera. The group fosters intercultural exchanges and activities.
What is the unofficial anthem of Andalucia?
As an autonomous region, Andalucia has its regional anthem or hymn, as they call it. However, “Verde, Blanca y Verde” (for the colors of the flag of Andalusia) by Carlos Cano seems to be the UNofficial song of Andalucia. Check it out on Youtube.
We much prefer the flamenco version by local artists Thiago Vazquez and Juan Carlos “El Colorao” that we used as soundtrack to one of our videos (Verde, Blanca y Verde/El Clorao/Vazquey/flamenco/bulerias) below.
What to do in Jerez during the Dia de Andalucia weekend?
This day usually turned into a long weekend (3 to 4 days, which the locals call “puente” or bridge). In Jerez, there would be plenty of FREE and FUN activities for the family, and many are related to flamenco as this weekend conveniently falls in the second weekend of the Festival de Jerez (21 February to 7 March 2020) which is pretty much flamenco-oriented–more than the normal week here in the birthplace of the Buleria.
Lots of FREE and paid flamenco performances from local artists who would usually return to Jerez for from their more lucrative gigs from other bigger cities. Check out the Festival de Jerez schedule of (for the most part) FREE events.
On the actual day of celebration (28 February) the main celebration is gonna be in Plaza Belen in the old historic center. It starts at 1230 with flamenco guitar playing the Andalusian anthem and other things, topped of by a “flashmob por bulerias” by the flamenco dance school, Maria Jose Franco. It is a must see event with several dancers outdoors dancing to the unmistakably fiery gypsy rhythm to which the hearts of Jerezanos beat. And a must-see event given its location in what is being advertised as “the city of flamenco” with the backdrop of the cathedral.
An extra treat for the little ones: There’s face-painting (pintacaras) for the kids along with “hinchables” (inflatable and portable play structures, usually with slides, and of course, the actual playground on Plaza Belen. The main event happens after 2030h, with a concert, when the heat of the Andalusian sun will have tapered off, which is the best time to actually be in at this plaza.
After the flashmob and before the main event at night, you can head to Plaza Plateros or Plaza Arenal to experience the beginning of carnival in the main streets of Jerez. There will be groups of cool looking dudes and dudettes in various clownlike and other costumes, many with guitars and instruments, all will be singing happy carnival songs. Carnival is more of a tradition from Cadiz but it’s a welcome addition to the FUNtastic diversity of activities in Jerez.
If you wanna see flamenco for FREE, head to Tabanco El Pasaje at 1400h, enjoy one-euro-something sherries or beer and experience pure flamenco at the longest running flamenco tabanco in Jerez.
If you want more flamenco, head towards Pena La Buleria in the old Barrio San Miguel to see what will definitely be a great performance from one of the local favorites: Ezequiel Benitez!. You will have to pay 12 euros. Note the start time of 23:30–this is normal time for Andaluces!
So, to all you Andaluces and AndalUSAnos, those who were born here or those of the heart, those who are far from your homes and those who are away, Happy Day of Andalucia! As the name implies, GO walk in the light! Big Smile!
Dia de Andalucia 2019: poster/images/artwork from last year’s celebrations.