So we’re now a couple of days into 2012. The extended break struggles on to Reyes later this week.
The news is full of pay cuts, taxes and freezes, so I thought it might be more positive to focus on one of 2012’s important anniversaries here in Spain: La Pepa.
On 19 March 1812, Spain’s first-ever constitution was written in Cadiz, as Napeoleon’s troops besieged the city. This highly significant bicentenary – el Bicentenario de la Constitucion de Cadiz, to give it its full name - is being celebrated with a year of special events and exhibitions. It takes its name from 19 March being the day of San Jose – nickname, Pepe.
On 6 January, this Friday, the El Niño lottery is being drawn at the Gran Teatro de Falla in Cadiz – the first time it has ever been held outside Madrid, which gives you an idea of how important this anniversary is. The reason is that the Loteria Nacional is also celebrating its 200 years, having been created by the Cadiz Courts to increase the Public Treasury’s income without having to resort to raising taxes (although there are those who refer to the lottery as a “tax on the stupid”, because so many are willing to spend money on something they are extremely unlikely to profit from. This historic lottery draw will be prefaced by a concert from the Seville Royal Symphonic Orchestra.
Then, on 10 January, the Centro Andaluz de Teatro Hill perform Camus’ play Estado de Sitio (State of Being), which is about a mythical Cadiz which is fighting against tyranny, and the triumph of freedom and hope. It was first performed by the famous mime Marcel Marceau.
These are just the start of the full and varied programme of cultural, social and political events planned for the year of commemorative celebrations. So you’ll be reading and hearing a lot more about La Pepa, both here and elsewhere.