24-07-2008  

Celebrate the "Semana Cervantina" in Alcalá de Henares

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Each year, as fall approaches, the alcalaínos begin their preparations for the annual Semana Cervantina, honoring the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and his world famous novel Don Quijote de la Mancha.  The two-week long celebration takes place during the month of October in the birthplace of Cervantes, the city of Alcalá de Henares. 

The Semana Cervantina brings history to life as the streets of Alcalá transform themselves into a scene from the 16th century.  Browse the Mercado del Quijote where vendors, dressed in traditional costumes, sell artisan goods from Cervantes' time. 
You can sample and buy a variety of baked goods like breads, empanadas, cookies, as well as other traditional items such as honey, liquor, handcrafted leather goods, dried flowers, carved wooden toys and more.
When you finish shopping at the marketplace you will definitely want to stroll around to see the live theatre acts that will be happening on the street in Alcalá's historical center. You will enjoy watching the actors as they act out scenes from Don Quijote de la Mancha in a fun, entertaining, and modern way. If you think you see Don Quijote and his sidekick Sancho riding by on their donkeys, you're not dreaming. Everyday at a certain hour the pair take a ride around Alcalá and greet pasersby.  
An important event takes place on October 9th. The town of Alcalá takes on the task of reading aloud the entire text of "Don Quijote". A podium is set at the foot of the statue of Miguel de Cervantes in the Plaza de Cervantes, and people sign up to read a chapter aloud. In the morning the characters of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza read a selection, which results in a theatrical presentation of that particular adventure!

 As the protagonists continue their ride around the Plaza, Don Quijote mounted on Rocinante and Sancho on his donkey, citizens of Alcalá and visitors alike, both children and adults, continue the reading of this fine piece of literature throughout the day.

Other activities taking place during the Semana Cervantina include a book fair, a small film festival in local cinemas, art expositions, and for the kids there's a petting zoo and donkey rides. 

The Semana Cervantina celebration is not only important for all to remember Cervantes and his works, it is also a celebration of the city of Alcalá de Henares allowing the alcalaínos the chance to recreate their city as it might have appeared during this time period. Donkeys and chickens grazing the straw covered streets, 16th century costumes, the sights, smells, and sounds.  Each element plays an important roll in the overall experience of the Semana Cervantina. (Don't be surprised if you hear "old Castillian Spanish" being spoken!)

Escuela Internacional invites you to join us for this unique celebration while studying at our Center in Alcalá de Henares. Study and learn Spanish at E.I. while you discover Alcalá de Henares and immerse yourself in art, theatre, and history.

 

Escuela Internacional Central Registration Office
C/ Talamanca, 10, 28807 Alcala de Henares (Madrid), Spain
Telephone: +34 91 883 12 64, Fax: +34 91 883 13 01
e-mail: info@escuelai.com