There are some pretty daft fiestas in Spain.
The heat turns up and formerly respectable citizens take to the streets, pelt each other with lorryloads of over-ripe tomatoes, hold olive spitting competitions, launch themselves down hills in crazy go-karts, allow dangerous bulls to chase them up the road, climb greasy poles suspended over the sea, and generally exhibit some worryingly reckless traits.
It's difficult to decide which would win the prize of most disconcertingly bizarre fiesta activity, until you find out about the tiny, seemingly tranquil hamlet of Perin, in the municipality of Cartagena, and then you're left in no doubt whatsoever, this is definitely the maddest fiesta in the region.
2 years ago when we first heard about this insane fiesta, we went down to the little village social centre, which services the community with everything from cheap haircuts, to bingo and bocadillos, to try and get to the bottom of exactly what was going on.
The man serving coffee told us that the church roof had become overgrown with weeds, so some bright spark came up with the idea of putting a donkey up there, to graze the roof of the church and clear them.
Everybody at the coffee counter was in full agreement that this first part is what actually happened, but then a heated disagreement broke out about the next part.
One camp maintained that the donkey was hauled up onto the roof via the bell tower and left overnight to graze, but slipped and fell off the roof, whilst the other camp maintained that the poor donkey was hauled up by the neck , and didn't even make it onto the roof.
However it happened, the poor donkey didn't survive the experience.
For some reason, somebody decided to commemorate this act of complete idiocy in homage to the donkey, and so each year a stuffed donkey is hauled up onto the roof of the church with great ceremony and celebration.
It attracts thousands of people, the tiny village square absolutely packed with revelers who come to witness this bizarre event and partake in the Perin Fiestas.
These are lovely fiestas, as the village square of Perin is surrounded by trees, and fairy lights, and provides a really atmospheric setting for the dances and fiesta events. There is a village hall selling snacks and drinks, fairground rides for the youngsters and the mandatory chocolate and churros on offer. Any of the nights which feature the musical events and dances are really enjoyable, due to the atmosphere in the village, and people come from all over the region to attend these events.
Everything is free, you just pay for drinks from the bar, which helps to pay for the fiestas.
Here's the programme
Friday 3rd August
6pm seven aside football, Perin CF v Nueva Cartagena
10pm Inauguration of the fiestas. Grand dance with live music by the Dúo Aguamarina.
Saturday, 4 August
6pm 7 a side football competition, between Perin, Inter, Los Mariscales and Puertas Dierre
10pm Grand Open air dance with the Dúo Reyes del Sol
Sunday 5th August
Monday 6th August
8pm Beginning of childrens games
10pm first in the tournaments of board games
Tuesday 7th August
8pm Childrens games
10pm second night in the tournaments of board games
Wednesday 8th August
8pm children's games.
10 pm Dia de los Niños, children's day, with inflatable castles, bucking bull and lots of fun for the kiddies
Thursday 9th August
8 pm children's games
Friday 10th August
8pm children's games
10pm grand open air dance with the Dúo Bahía
11pm Mercadillo, exchange of goods without any money changing hands, a barter market
Saturday 11th August
7.15pm grand parade of floats and carriages through the streets of the town. This is a surprisingly large parade, in which participants throw food, sangria and little gifts of toys to the watching crowd.
This is followed by a mobile disco for the youngsters.
At around 10pm the famous "subida del burro" or hanging the donkey takes place.
Last year, the donkey was raised at 10pm, but it's impossible get a definite time out of anyone as usual, so if you want to be absolutely sure of seeing it, be there for the parade, and relax, enjoy the party, then it'll happen when it happens.
10pm. Grand dance with the popular quartet Acuarela.
Sunday 12th August
6pm Caliche competition
10pm Music from La Calle del Ritmo entertain with a mixture of Spanish hits from the 1980s
Monday 13th August
10.30am neighbours day
10pm Grand Sprint
Tuesday 14th August
10pm Grand fancy dress ball , with music by the quartet Cuarteto Nueva Onda
Wednesday 15th August
7am Diana Floreada ( wake-up call with cohetes)
12 Midday Holy Mass in honour of the Virgen de la Piedad
12.30 inauguration of the annual exhibition of handicrafts made by the ladies of the village, open until 11 o'clock at night
1pm Drop of Vermouth for all.
8pm . Procession of the patrona, accompanied by the musical band
10pm open air dance with the Dúo Jema and prize-giving
Gran Traca ( a big firecracker) close of fiestas
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