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Almazán: The Festival of San Pascual Bailón and El Zarrón

Dates: 17th May

The Festival of Zarrón implies the participation of all the inhabitants of Almazán, a Sorian village. The origins can be traced back to the 19th century when the Cofradía de San Pascual Bailón was founded. Since then, on 17th May, the saint is paraded round the village in an ancient rite.

Four members of the fraternity carry the Saint on a platform, under the charge of the foremen and protected by the zarrón, a grotesque figure attired in shepherd's clothes and a black hat adorned with feathers and foxes' tails. There are three zarrones, and their mission is to precede the parade and clear the way for the eight dancing pairs and the drummer, who must always be facing the saint. The figures of the zarrón represent the protectors of the flock and this festival has its origins in this collective, which founded the Cofradía de San Pascual and chose the Saint as its patron.

The procession accumulates in the square, and when the saint is returned to the church the characters shout "Viva San Pascual Bailón!" and the crowd responds "Viva!"; the participants shout "Viva el zarrón!", and they respond "Muera!". Then the zarrones pretend to hit the crowd with sticks and run after those who are close to them. The young people run in front of them and are chased. At this point the religious celebrations finish and the profane ones begin. The foremen throw sweets so that the people form rings and the zarrón comes near to frighten them. When the procession is finished all the participants go to the house of the foreman, who is a member of the fraternity, to drink soparra, a typical festival drink made of bread, wine and sugar.

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