1. The wire-strew of small phylloxeras

The celebration of the phylloxera is a prelude to the September 7 at night, just after the traditional fireworks of \"fires i festes\". The protagonists are small phylloxeras, starting from the side of the firework to represent the appearance of the plague. Two parades starts with 15 small phylloxeras each, and goes running through many streets to finally meet at the town center. It is in \"l’Era de la Guineu\" square, located in front of \"Can Guineu\", the ancestral home of the \"savis de Grècia\" (wise of Greece), Marc Mir. There also involved the big phylloxera

2. The descent

The celebration itself begins on 8th of September at Raval Street, starting at 10 at night. All participants do a parade of fire, music and dance from Raval Street to the church square. Once here, before starting, we read a short text which reminds the main aims and the significance of the phylloxera celebration. Moreover, they give some recommendations for all the audience and the participants.

3. Dance of the farmers before the plague

The celebration of the phylloxera begins with the first dance of farmers, who dance in two circles to represent the tranquility of the Sant Sadurní citizens before the plague of phylloxera arrives.

4. First phylloxera attack

The peacefulness of the local life and the whole square assistants suddenly finishes when the lights are turned off and all the space is occupied by the first phylloxera attack. First, goes the big phylloxera, followed by the entrance of the small phylloxeras. Finally, the big phylloxera comes again, always with the drummer’s accompaniment.

5. Sick grapevines

The result of the phylloxera attack can be seen through the first appearance of the grapevines. They MAKE their appearance dancing with bangers in red color, a color that it is not the appropriated for the vines and symbolizes the sickness of the grapevines. It is the best time for the lovers of the fire, properly protected, that can join the celebration and dance beside the grapevines.

6. Alarmed farmers

Once people are aware of the importance of the plague, farmers appear again, not to celebrate anything now but to consider what they can do to combat/FIGHT against the phylloxera.

7. The seven wise of Greece

The disturbances and the confusion of the population alert the local forces to the danger. The first meeting of the seven wise of Greece, who dance following the solemn rhythm of a waltz. It finishes without having found the right way to solve the problem.

8. The final phylloxera attack

Phylloxera again demonstrates his ferocity through domaining all the square. The sound of firecrackers and drums make musical accompaniment of the beast. As in his first appearance, the big phylloxera comes first, followed by the small phylloxeras and again the big one.

9. The solution of the seven wise of Greece

In his second appearance, the Seven wise of Greece found the solution against the phylloxera: replanting the vineyards with American vines, that are immune to the plague

10. The grapevines with American foot

Once defeated the plague; again appear the grapevines, but now the bangers in green color. The strains with American foot, stands immune to phylloxera, which bring life back to the population following the rhythm of one of the most joyous music in this party

11. The final triumph

To celebrate the victory over the plague, the party ends with a cava shower. The music invites all participants and the audience to dance in the middle of the square to celebrate the completion of a new edition of the phylloxera party.

12. The elements

The phylloxera

It is the main element of the party and, as such, it is the fantastic animal that represents St. Sadurní. It is a giant reproduction of the insect in its winged stage. The phylloxera was first built by a group called \"El Taller\" released for \"Fires i Festes\" on 1981. It was a figure made ​​of an iron structure recovered with a certain mesh and afterwards finished with paper pulp. The tail was part of the fabric over a metal skeleton. The first year, three people had to hold it from the inside part. Later, Then, they add legs with wheels.

In 1990 it was replaced by the current. It is more faithful to the shape of the real insect. The artisan was Amadeu Ferre and he made it with fiberglass, it is 7m long and 5m wide with the four wings extended. It is 2.5m high and it weighs 305 kg. This phylloxera spits fire from its mouth, and also from his antennae, the wings and its tail. Three people are carrying the element from the inside part, despite of its size, has a great mobility. The phylloxera appears accompanied by the rhythm of big and small drums.

The farmers

The group of farmers represents the amount of population in Sant Sadurní that suffered and fought later with his personal effort against the phylloxera plague. The giants of the Seven wise of Greece represents specific people. And the farmers’ faces have been made from old anonymous photographs, in which appears farmers from Sant Sadurní in the phylloxera years, because the farmers’ dance main aim is to represent the whole population.

The first years, people interpreted this dance with the typical costumes of traditional peasant –velvet pants and flowered skirts, white shirt, \"espardenyes\" (typical catalan sandal) white shirt, straw hats, also a wicker basket or a sulfate machine... -. In 2001 this item was remodeled with the construction of some big heads made of cardboard stone by Montse Mateu, with outfits designed by Cristina Güell and developed by a team that collaborates with the party. There are 12 figures; each one is 5 to 6 kg.

Formed in a circle, the farmers dance a piece for clarinet by Jaume Esteva (1982). Although the arrangements of the melody, it also has been enriched with other instruments.

The small phylloxeras

There are 30 small phylloxeras, one for each day of September, the month of harvest. They are a free version of the insect and they were made with fiberglass in 1987. They were made by Dolores Sans. They are 1 m tall and their weigh is 8 kg. Everyone is carried by an adult and they have crackers on the antennas. Like the big phylloxera, they dance with the rhythm of drums.

The grapevines

The grapevines are at the phylloxera celebration since its first edition in 1982. The group "El Taller" initially made seven big-heads homemade, with paper pulp, which had already incorporated the three iron branches that the day of the festival are decorated with tender grapevine branches and bangers (firecrackers).

Since 1989 the group of grapevines is composed by 14 big heads of fiberglass (6 kg), and the artisan was Dolores Sans. The master big head represents the top of the trunk of the plant, where come out the branches that give the fruit. People who carry a big head are wearing clothes in brown color with a leaf print. Each grapevine dances with a companion that guides them while making them evolve around the square. Because the first vines they made had no visibility. When they made the grapevines, they made small openings for the eyes, but they were still insufficient even dancing amount the crowd. But anyway the figure of the companion had become an element of the party and therefore remains despite the changes that were made in 2009, which expanded the very visibility of the grapevines.
The grapevines dance to the rhythm of the music band composed by Antoni Torelló i Casanovas, that the small phylloxera orchestra plays. The grapevines dance around the square, along with the appearance of the small phylloxera. It is the most suitable moment of the party for the public to participate and add spontaneously into the show.

The Seven wise of Greece

From the very beginning, it was clear that inside of the show we had to differentiate the majority of the population in Sant Sadurní as farmers than the owners that guide the fight against the plague, identified with a popular expression "Seven wise of Greece." It was not mythologizing these characters, but showed that the farmers and the owners lived and suffered in a different way the phylloxera plague.

The decision on who should be the Seven wise became from a book reference published in 1909 by the then city clerk, Pelegrí Torelló: "The names of Mir, Marc and Rafael, of Manuel Raventos, Francisco Romeu, Pere Rovira de la Foradada, Modest Casanovas and the remarkably doctor Antonio Escayola, as the director of the Region, can be found as those who promote that campaign". That is the connection among those seven characters that Pelegrí Torelló makes, the one that the Phylloxera Commission adopted, as its Seven wise of Greece.

The Seven wise of Greece joined the party of phylloxera between 1993 and 1999, a yearly. The three first ones were the giants of Mercè Gost Merced, Mercè Beneit i Montse Mateu, that is who took over the construction of the others, always based on real people from the photographs. All giants are made of cardboard paper, they are 2.5 m high and their weigh is between 20 and 30 kg. The music for the Seven Wise Men dance is a waltz by Joan Garrobé.

With the contribution of

Caixabank


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