The main feast day for Saint Thomas in the Catholic church falls suspiciously close to the winter solstice, and is celebrated on December 21 with a huge fair in San Sebastian, Spain. In Mondragón, my wife’s home town, Santo TomÃ¡s is also an important day. But since San Sebastian is so close and so much bigger, no one ever came to the fair in Mondragón, so they moved it to December 22 and the event exploded into a huge annual fair of crafts and livestock and dancing and drinking and general merriment.
I don’t know much about Saint Thomas, but from the following two quotes from Wikipedia, I think he’s now my favorite apostle.
He also speaks up at The Last Supper in John 14:5. Jesus assures his disciples that they know where he is going, but Thomas protests that they don’t know at all.
In Thomas’s best known appearance in the New Testament, John 20:24-29, he doubts the resurrection of Jesus and demands to feel Jesus’ wounds before being convinced.
An apostle with critical thinking skills and an emphasis on evidence-based belief!??! Go Tommy-boy! It’s too bad he’s just a literary tool to silence future skeptics.
(here come the “is it okay to eat a week-old burrito?” googlers…)
My sister-in-law, BelÃ©n, insisted that I get certain activities on video to show my mother, to whom she had proudly written an English email about the Santo TomÃ¡s festivities, particularly the dancing. So here they are.
Sing along with me here:
Cider Man, Cider Man,
Fills a glass with cider, man!
Pours it high, let’s it fall!
Not a splash on the wall.
Here comes Cider Man!!!
We literally spent from 2pm to 2am between bars ordering drinks. When our feet and livers couldn’t take anymore, we walked home briskly through the brisk night air.