SANTA TECLA FESTIVITY IN TARRAGONA
In the city of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain,
we usually say that for us, the new year starts when
the festivity of Santa Tecla is over, on September 24th.
This is when we feel a mix of exhaustion and sadness to be ending the best days of the year,
and we start counting down the days left before Santa Tecla starts again next year.
Santa Tecla is the main cultural festivity of the city of Tarragona. Thousands of people in the city,
children and families, go out and celebrate those days with fire figures, popular music, animal figures
and other amazing cultural characters that invade the streets from the 15th until the 24th of September.
In 2002 Santa Tecla was declared
“Festival of Tourist Interest”
by the Spanish government and
in 2010 it was also declared
“Patrimonial Festival of national
interest” by the atalan government.
The origins of this celebration held on the streets that go back to 1321 when the arm relic of the patron saint (Santa Tecla) arrived at the city from Armenia.
For more than one week in September, people from Tarragona and their visitors go out on the streets to take over the most emblematic areas of the city where the different traditional, festive and gastronomic events take place
Regarding Santa Tecla events,
the city hosts two human towers
celebrations with the participation of
the local teams (known as “colles”) and
two other big teams from the towns of
Valls and Vilafranca.
However, the event that involves more people every year is the Seguici Popular (literally “popular retinue”) when the streets of the city get absolutely crowded of popular figures, music, fire and tones of joy.
During many hours, people walk around the streets of the Part Alta (old town) giving way to the relic of Santa Tecla.
One particular note is the entrance of the arm of Santa Tecla to the cathedral with the dance of all the traditional elements, human towers, ringing of the bells and fireworks.
I enjoyed last Santa Tecla
with a Samyang lens on my
It was the first time I could take photographs of this stunning tradition with such a sharpen lens such the Samyang 85mm F1.2. Its manual focus was not a problem at all in order to capture many emotional moments and thanks to its wide aperture it was quite easy to take pictures under the sparks of the fire figures.
I am also a lover of the shallow depth of field, so with the F1.2 I could also enjoy getting tiny and close shots of some festivity details.
It is absolutely amazing to enjoy the Santa Tecla taking pictures while children and families look for their favourite traditional figure or just trying to get closer to touch it.
As you can see on my pictures, the image quality of this lens is truly insane and really helps to show to the magnificent moments that Santa Tecla make you feel when you live it. Actually, this festivity is a great way to discover and understand some cultural traditions of Catalonia and for Tarragona’s citizens it is the best way ever to say good-bye to our year.