Wow. What a weekend! Fin de semana! Our neighbors, Kim and Virginia, asked us Friday if we wanted to drive together to the market in Vilafranca on Saturday. They had mentioned before that it was the big Christmas market. Vilafranca has a big market every Saturday but we had yet to go to it. Vilafranca is about 5 -10 minutes from home.
We left at 10:30 a.m. and once we arrived at the market I immediately saw a red leather purse that was a must have especially because it only cost 10€ (less than $12). To be honest it was Kim’s fault as he pointed out the stand to me. lol.
Bob and I noticed that they didn’t seem to be looking at anything. They seemed headed in a particular direction. They were on a mission. As we were walking down the road I kept noticing all of these chicken decorations. I asked Kim what they were for. He tried to explain but Bob and I just weren’t understanding. Soon it would all make sense.
This wasn’t the normal Saturday market. It wasn’t even Christmas themed. This was the “Fira del Gall.” The translation from Catalan is “Cock Fair.” Chicken is the traditional meal for a Catalan Christmas. This is a huge celebration and it is where people come to pick their poultry for the all important feast and also poultry for their farms. What an incredible sight to see! One of my favorite moments was watching this woman hold two roosters by their feet to determine the weight and which one is the better one.
There were all different kinds of poultry for purchase.
The live poultry was packed in a box (with air holes) or some people brought their own ‘transportation.’
There were awards given out just like the county fairs back home. And an exhibition tent to showcase the award winning poultry
There was a wine tasting tent. Games for the kids and a story corner for the kids.
Of course there was the photo opportunity. But the cool thing about these oversize poultry is the ribbon with the pacifiers hanging around the neck (see arrow) of the one next to Bob. This is a special place for children to ‘kick the habit’ and leave their pacifiers because they are now big boys and girls. How sweet is that?!
No laughing at the photo!!!!
The food tent held 500 people! For the 6€ (just over $7) you received a cup of soup, bread, dessert, coffee, and a glass of wine – AND you got to keep the glass! For 6€! Crazy! There were 7 restaurants there where you could buy a dish for 5 to 7 euros! Unfortunately, we didn’t know about any of this and we had brunch at home before we went. We were too full to partake in all of the extra yummy dishes. Now we know for next year. By the time we got to the food tent there were 9 of us. This is an annual outing for our neighbors and their friends to meet up. Oh what a fun group of people. We feasted, drank wine, and then wandered the stalls.
As we wandered around Kim told us that they were all heading back to their place for the afternoon. Sounded great to us.
We arrived home, grabbed some cava and headed next door. The hours passed with mixes of languages, stories, cava, food and more new friends. As the others were engaged in conversation in Catalan and Castilian, Bob and I talked about how amazing the day had been. We spent 8 incredible hours with these wonderful people. What a great way to pass the day!