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February 2008

Time for yet another holiday here in Andalucia. That's right, February 28th is a day to celebrate. It's Andalucia Day thanks to this region's founding father, Blas Infante, the man whose ideas eventually served to make this region the separate autonomous community it is today. The question many foreigners living in Andalucia have is: what do people do on Dí­a de Andalucía.
Andalucia's Costa del Sol is also known as the Costa del Golf, thanks to our booming golf industry and courses that spread gorgeous green fairways over much of Málaga's province. Now Andalucia.com is inviting all golfers to join the Andalucia.com golf team on March 7th at the Marbella Golf and Country Club. The British Chamber of Commerce is organising this lovely Spring Centenary Golf Tournament and it promises to be a wonderful day out at one of our premiere courses. The price of this unique day out is just 98 euros per person.
I have a confession to make, and blogs seem to be the fashionable place to confess these days: I am not a purist. I love fusion - flamenco fusion, that is. And why not? I know there is a movement pushing to preserve the heart and soul of traditional flamenco, and that's fine by me. There's nothing wrong with hanging on to Andalucian traditions, saving and preserving them for posterity. But what's wrong with innovation? What's wrong with change, with mixing in new trends, sounds, ideas?
The big news this week is that someone - some lucky someone, or perhaps more than one someone - from the tiny town of Montefrio, Granada, has won the "Euromillones" lottery. At over 76 million euros, this is the biggest, fattest lottery prize yet to land on a Spanish town. A town, you ask? Yes, a town, because a lottery prize in Spain is seen as a sort of common good.
How often do we hear of yet another family that has moved to southern Spain because it's such a great place to raise children? Families from northern Europe and North America are especially charmed by the warmth of this family-centred Mediterranean society. It's hard not to notice how children are accepted wherever we go - at restaurants and other public venues - at all hours of the night and day. Many of us feel like we've taken a trip back in time to a friendlier era where things were "different"...
Lately I've been studying the way festivals are celebrated throughout Andalucia. It's often interesting to see how one single festival is celebrated differently from one town or city to another. To be honest, at first glance, all the carnivals looked alike to me, as did all the ferias or semana santas. But I've long known that locals don't see it this way - people of each town or village believe they have their own, entirely unique take on the observance of each special day or festival. This point really hit home when I was comparing holy week processions throughout our region.
Would you believe that there is a GPS co-ordinate on record for every single commercial olive tree in Andalucia? That's right. That's how serious the olive production industry is in southern Spain.