Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dia de Campesino and the Feast of Corpus Christi

In the U.S. there is Father's Day on the first Sunday in June to celebrate the importance of Papa, but in Colombia it is the Dia de Camposino. This Day of the Peasant/Farmer is a day to celebrate the earth, the harvest and to thank God for all the blessings of being able to till the soil and provide a living for one's family.
300 horses and riders, of all ages, were on a four-day trip,
an annual event it seems, through four villages in Santander.

Recently, with all the flooding and loss of thousands of hectares of agricultural land, not to mention the livestock that perished in the rising waters, the peasant/farmer has had a very rough go of it. And the rainy season which is supposed to essentially quit at the end of May has continued on into much of June.

For some it's a family affair...
So it seemed that with a change in the weather, and the Catholic Church's celebration of The Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) was a good time to really let loose. (The link has a wealth of information about this holiday.) Monday is a no-work day and many people have used this excuse to leave the cities and head into the country.

Today Barichara was filled up with people from all over Santander (and some from as far away as Bogota), in part to participate in a four-day horseback ride through four villages around the state. The ride started in Socorro on Saturday morning, I heard, and today people arrived on their horses from San Gil, (about 23 kilometers away) and took a break for a couple of hours. Then about 3 p.m. today 300 (!!) horses and riders headed off for Villaneuva where they will spend the night. Early on Monday morning, I've been told, they complete the circuit by arriving in Curiti, a small village closer to the city of San Gil.
Horses and riders are accompanied by armed military on
motos as well as some of the national calvary to ensure a
safe, secure journey across mountains and through villages.

Some of the hombres stopped at a 'tienda' (shop) to get
some supplies and to use their cell phones, it seems.
Men, women and children were on horseback and it was a thrilling sight to see them all parading down the stone streets of Barichara.  Some of the riders were carrying portable radios so the sounds of hoofs on the road were also accompanied by various local musical choices.

Those not on the ride were standing on the sidewalks watching, laughing, and enjoying the spectacle. I think I would like to find a way to do this ride next year!

I found this sweet poem about the campesinos which I wanted to share, and interspersed with the text are loads of pictures of horses, people, dogs, children and the sights of Barichara today. Hope you enjoy it all!

We are children of farming and the setting sun, 
Cultivate the earth with faith and submission, 
Sowing the grooves with enthusiasm and hope 
Found in his soul, messages of peace.
Riders leave Santa Barbara church and
head for Villaneuva, a village to the east.

We were born in the thickets of the gay mountain 
Among blossoms and fruit aromas blossom, 
The rivers that cross through the room; 
Dreams in their causes, they germinate well.
Birds throw us their songs in the wind 
And with his singing tone, love sonnets, 
Crossing valleys, cliffs conquer 
And in their nests built shrines of Eden.
Thus passed the days of yore, 
In agro fruitful peace and love 
The human beast never stained, 
Because it was God's temple and pantry.
Our old grandmother, died dreaming 
With its agro see again in green, 
In songbirds, flying through the sky 
And blossoms and fruits with blossom aromas.
Aranzazu - Caldas

And also in Spanish, how it was originally written:

Somos hijos del agro y del sol del poniente,
Cultivamos, la tierra con fe y sumisión,
Sembrando los surcos con ilusión y esperanza
Descubrimos, en su alma, mensajes de paz.
This is the road that also leads to La Loma
where I am living.
Nacimos, en las breñas de la alegre montaña,
Entre azahares y frutos con aromas en flor,
Los ríos que cruzan por toda la estancia;
En sus causes los sueños, germinan también.
Las aves nos lanzan sus trinos al viento, 
Y con su canto entonan, sonetos de amor,
Cruzando los valles, conquistan los riscos
Y en sus nidos construyen santuarios de edén.
Así transcurrieron los tiempos de antaño,
Con el agro fecundo de paz y de amor,
Las bestias humanas jamás lo mancharon,
Porque, era alacena y templo de Dios.
Nuestros viejos abuelos, murieron soñando 
Con ver nuevamente su agro en verdor, 
Con las aves canoras, surcando su cielo 
Y de azahares y frutos con aromas en flor.
Aranzazu - Caldas
That's me, standing on the corner on the right, wishing
I was on horseback, too - maybe next year?

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! Thanks for photo-journaling this unique county festival. Ah, there are so many of such different kind of celebrations throughout the world. Much to appreciate and experience the joys of the people.