Monday 21 March
Watch the Spring Bloom
On this day 21 March, travel to the Valle del Jerte in Extremadura from the comfort of your armchair. Enjoy the joyful sight of 1.5 million cherry trees in bloom at the Fiesta del Cerezo en Flor.
¡Da gusto verlo!
Tuesday 22 March
Join the Party at Fallas
On this day 22 March, Valencia revels in street parties that run through March. Parade floats of inventive papier-mâché characters, politicians and celebrities process to the raucous boom of deafening firecrackers.
The Fallas celebrations pay tribute to San José, father of Jesus and the patron saint of carpenters. A celebration of all craft workers in life.
¡Viva la vida!
Wednesday 23 March
Fly like a Speed Bird
On this day 23 March, in 1992 Spain launched the first high-speed train from Madrid to Córdoba. The AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) plays on the Spanish word ‘bird’ as the superfast train runs at speeds touching 300 km/h.
Spain boasts the longest high-speed network in Europe for travel in an eco-friendly style.
Climb aboard to explore the hills, olive groves and beaches.
Thursday 24 March
Mind the Cloak and Dagger
On this day 24 March, riots in Madrid erupted over the ban on long cloaks in 1766. The King’s Neapolitan minister, the Marquis of Esquilache, warned that assassins concealed weapons beneath their cloaks. A royal decree enforced French short coats and tricorne hats for men.
Protesters yelled Viva Espana and Death to Esquilache but the new rule stuck. A matador, of course, still uses a scarlet cape in the bullring. If you’re invited to a ball, Capas Seseña, a shop set up in 1901, makes bespoke capes for ladies and gents. Actor Nicholas Cage recently bought himself a flamboyant cloak.
Friday 25 March:
Why was the Inquisition scandalised?
On this day 25 March, King Charles IV appointed Francisco de Goya as a Court painter. In 1789 Goya was captivated by the Duchess of Alba. The young widow soon became his muse. The duchess liked to dress up as a saucy working gal, Maja for secret adventures.
When a painting The Naked Maja resembled the Duchess’ figure it caused a scandal. The Grand Inquisitor confiscated the artwork and summoned Goya to a reckoning.
Did the Duchess pose in the nude?
¿Si o no?
Saturday 26 March
Feel the Andalusian Rhythm of Life
Photo – www.siempreflamenco.com
On this day 26 March, the flamenco singer and guitarist Raimundo Amador was born in 1959. Flamenco’s haunting music combines Gypsy and Moorish sounds.
Every March legendary musicians perform at the flamenco festival in Jerez de la Frontera.
So, put on your dancing shoes.
¡Vamos a bailar!
Sunday 27 March
Spring Forward on a Partisan Clock
On this day 27 March, the clocks jump forward one hour for daylight saving. But a curious political agreement in 1940 means Spain and Portugal keep different time on the Iberian Peninsula.
Hitler visited Spain seeking Franco’s support for the war. Spain’s finances were drained with the civil war, so in a gesture of solidarity Franco pledged to set Spanish clocks on German time for El Fuhrer.
No wonder Spaniards have a reputation for being late.
¡Así es la vida!