Santa Tecla 2014 is finally on the way and the first day saw a display of four groups of human towers followed by the “crida” the official inauguration which went off with a bang!
You can’t beat the spectacle, the joy, the unfolding drama of human castles and towers forming and rising, with the last casteller pushing a hand up in to the sky before beginning the descent.
For us here Santa Tecla is the 13th season of the year, ten days in which Tarragona enters a different dimension. There is an energy, a buzz and headiness which starts late afternoon and does not leave you till next morning.
Santa Tecla is a combination of traditional celebrations which culminate on the day of Santa Tecla, when the relict of the braç (arm) of the patroness of the City is taken out on display and parades around the street in it’s silver encasing.
There is always a food connections and for Santa Tecla we have Espineta i Carogolins, a hearty stew made of snails potatoes and flesh which is scraped off the spine of the tuna. There are many different variations of this but who sets the pace is Bar Cortijo who, the day of the festivities set up tables on the street and everyone joins in.
Another unmistakable connection, linked to the people and not the saint, is the ubiquitous presence of Chartreuse dished out in a lemony slush inside a portable pods (barrilet), the Mamadeta. This year the department of Tourism offers chartreuse cocktail classes for anyone feeling creative in the drinks department.
So today it started with the official inauguration and a flare setting off a large explosion of fireworks in the centre of the Plaça de la Font. Happy Santa Tecla!