Sunday Livestock Show

July 30, 2007 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain 1,642 views

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On Sunday morning a local town was holding its annual livestock show, so we thought we’d check it out. Yee haw!

It took place in this picturesque valley town called San Miguel de Aras.


Rows of garlic.


These guys weren’t part of the show, they were just hanging out in a puddle where we parked. Of course, at this point, we were thinking, “Hey, cool! Cows!” We had no idea the quantity of bovine photo ops that awaited us…


Aw shucks!


Blond calf.




This gal was asleep, and the flies were having a ball on her nose.


What pretty ribbons you have!


More cowbell!

Sometimes the captions occur to me before I even take the photos.


Juan took one look at this week-old calf and said, “All this guy needs is a frying pan and some tomatoes.”


“Sorry to bother you, sir, but I think you’ve got a little something in your teeth.” Check out those funky horns.



Livestock Fair Panorama (1)

Cattle and tents and humans.


We had a good time watching this mouse crawl around on some old farm equipment that was on display.


More cute calf action.


Teat suckage.


Cute colt.

About this time, I started thinking, “This little festival could happen just like this in the US. A little country music and square dancing, and it’d be the most American thing ever.” As if to remind me of how wrong I was, that was when the brought out the town virgin and began their goddess idol worship.

Video download (6.87 MiB)


Who knew that Mary was a ventriloquist?


The priest read out a prayer before flinging holy water at the crowd. Marga saw the look on my face and said, “That water flinging is strange to you, isn’t it?” I said, “If we did that in America, we’d do it right…with supersoakers!” I have this perfect image in my head of priest, dressed in a white robe, pumping his supersoaker with each line of the prayer.


The clouds break!


THIS is the definition of “burrito” in Spain.


That’s a cute ass.


Even the little burritos had humongous ears.




Can you spot the ass in this photo?


Depressed pony.


Cafe con leche.


More cowb— wait, I already referenced that meme.


More even-toed ungulates.


“So I was thinkin’ that, later, we might head over to the other side of the enclosure and graze over there for a bit. Whadda you guys think?”


I’m no shepherd, but aren’t these creatures supposed to have heads?


Content canine.


Even Barbra Streisand turned out for the event!


Streamlined horns.


I’m torn between two possible captions here:

  1. Milk jug
  2. New Zealand porn

Sorry, Hubs!


Look at the horns on that guy in the corner!

Livestock Fair Panorama (2)

The place we were in was really beautiful. It was a perfectly flat field in a valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides.


Chainsaw sculpture is amazing.


Neighbor’s redwood dropping leaves in your yard? No problem!


Do unicorns count as livestock?


Even when they’re making frolicking mythical creatures, this is still the manliest art form ever.


Slightly less noisy carving. Check out that high-tech hammer!


Walking up to the church, we noticed several groups that were preparing for a full picnic. That’s gonna be a big paella!

Livestock Fair Panorama (3)

Looking down from the church.


Juan noticed this unusable stairway.


The little chapel was beautiful, and a nice cool temperature inside.


Since 1867.


Very, er…angelic.


The virgin above the alter.


A lonely table, waiting for wine and merriment to descend upon it.


When I took this, Juan said, “Hey look, now he’s just taking pictures of the sky!” We artists are never understood.


Rural Europe


We passed a house, whose entire ground floor was for milking cows.


Some cheeky prankster a few years ago started the myth that hanging CDs on your balcony will keep flies away. This is, of course, absolutely ridiculous, but, because it’s kinda pretty and shiny, the custom spread like wildfire, and now it’s an extremely common sight. With this level of critical thinking, it’s no wonder people follow “kinda pretty” porcelain dolls around in processions and kneel before them.


Okay, this is the last cow picture, I swear! These cute little newborns were too much to resist.


I liked all the crap growing on this wall.


A nicely landscaped country farmhouse yard.


Virgen de Palacios
San Miguel de Aras

Every festival has to have a handkerchief to wear around your neck.

What a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

  • Betsy

    This is just the kind of event I would have enjoyed. I can almost smell it. One of the things I find noteworthy about various small town festivals you have documented is how many teenagers and young adults participate. Most American 14-19 year olds would not want to don regional clothing and dance around in public, especially if their parents asked them to. Maybe there are stick-in-the-mud Spanish teens who would rather stay home with an X-Box on a summer Sunday, but I sort of think there aren’t as many. Any cultural insight into this?

  • erik

    A couple thoughts…

    Spain is also suffering from a teenage population that would prefer to be with their X-Boxes, iPods, and mobile phones than to do any of this cultural stuff. It might be even more exaggerated in Spain than the US, since the kids born in the 80s are often the first generation to escape the farm. The only teenagers I have any direct contact with are Aunt Marga’s two boys, and they hardly even show up at their own birthday parties that the family organizes.

    However, I have to admit that I, too, was surprised by the amount of young people involved. I was more impressed by those who were clearly tending to the family livestock than the dancers, since everyone in Marga’s family went through the rite of passage that involved donning cultural dress and dancing to traditional music on a stage. Sunday was the first time I saw a shepherd’s crook used to hook a sheep by the neck, and that was by a pudgy teenager. Television showing how fun life is in the city is destroying small Spanish villages. Before television, young people didn’t know that there was anything other than farm work in the world, but now they all want to have cell phones, be soccer stars, and go to discotheques. The news this evening told of how the price of milk is going up 0.10 €/L because Spanish dairy farmers can’t produce enough to supply the demand.

    I think you might also be forgetting how thousands and thousands of American teenagers spend their Sunday mornings. Many, many Spanish churches will have to be shut down in my lifetime because their entire congregation will die of old age. I recently had the epiphany of realizing what the reason is that the average age of a Spanish church goer is well over 60. It’s not because old people are closer to death and feel a stronger need for religion, as I previously thought. The elderly go to church because they always have, since childhood. This realization spells clear doom for the clergy.

  • hubbers

    Don’t stress about the Spanish churches. The Brits will buy them up and turn them into apartments for property shows.

    Milk is going up the whole world over. They reckon that the average NZ farmer will make $250,000 extra this year alone.

    Teenagers are self-centered surly little jerks if me and my mates are anything to go by. Don’t stress most grow up and start caring about things other than spacies, girls and beer.

    Some NZers spend their whole lives trying to get foreigners to notice our wonderful country and when we find educated, well traveled, curious person we fill their heads with useful facts. Sadly all most people can remember is the LOTR was made in NZ and New Zealand has 20 sheep for every person. This figure is now slightly out of date. The correct ratio is more like 10. But still we try. Wouldn’t you if your sheep were as beautiful as ours?

    This code isn’t valid. I hope that ticks you off.

  • erik

    The Daily Show did a special on New Zealand last week, and the topic of what people know about it was discussed. In the same episode, I was pleased to hear Jon Stewart pronounce my surname the way I do when he was reporting on the Tour de France.

    This code isnÂ’t valid. I hope that ticks you off.

    Yes, that angered me. I’ve fixed the invalid xhtml code. Thanks for that.

  • Betsy

    I was hoping this was the post featuring the week-old burrito. Even today if you google “week-old burrito” your flickr picture is at the top of the list. I did find what I was looking for via this route. Good old Google.