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Pañuelada

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“La pañuelada”, is an event that occurs on Sunday during the festivals. When the Municipal Corporation comes back from Saint Peter`s Church to the Town Hall, after Saint Andrew´s procession.

People walk clutching shoulders, dancing at the same time and singing with the tunes of the song “Bajo la doble águila”. They form lots of rows, creating a corridor for Authorities at the time they arrive to the Town hall’s square. They untie their scarves and start moving them with the hands, creating a singular spectacle that most of the people are appealed.

“La pañuelada” started in 1967, being the mayor of the town, Don Miguel Lanza Pinies, and since then it is included in the Official Agenda of our festivals.

The beginning of “La Pañuelada” had its origin- according to the local chronicler Domingo Llauró, on the order given by the local Government of banning the installation of the popularly denominated “chabisques” or “changarros” –a kind of shut- which young people enjoy during the festivals.

This prohibition annoyed them and they wanted to show their displeasure facing the Town Hall, during the denominated “Bajadica del Puy” a celebration which is on the “Viernes de Gigantes” –Gigant´s Friday- after the celebration of the solemn prayers in honour of our Patrons in the Basilica. The Municipal Corporation in their way back to the Town Hall with the Official procession, walks through the Puy street where every year young people sing and dance in order to slow down the normal descent, causing shoves until they are tired and they continue the way. But that year, it seems that these shoves could cause wounds to the musicians of Buñol’s band. Even the director of this band told the mayor that if they keep behaving this way, the band would leave.

The mayor realized that one of the musicians was wounded, he raised the city’s flag and with the Corporation, walking through the young people, went to the Town Hall. When this young people arrived to the Town hall’s square, they showed him publically their objection.

This had happened on “Viernes de Gigantes” –Friday of Giants- but the following Sunday after the San Andres’s procession, around fifty young people and some more that joined them during the way between the church and the Town hall, escorted the Town Hall Corporation singing and dancing as an amending act about what had happened on Friday.

At the end of the path, and when the mayor went to the balcony, that young people were holding their red scarves in their hands and dedicated him a big ovation, showing their affection in a spontaneous way. After that moment, this event happens every year, and it is part of the Official Programme.

Other writers and chroniclers say that the origin of “La pañuelada” started with a change in the Procession, introducing the parade of the musical folk groups of the city.

Also with another change, when Saint Andrews’ relics were carried by young people instead of the Dominican Friars of the Santo Domingo’s convent. Lately and in 1974, the Saturday of the festivals, after the solemn mass in the “Basilica del Puy”, the first feminine mass was celebrated and also, the first feminine “pañuelada”. All of this is based on Domingo Llauró’s documents and photographs.
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