Is Halloween your favorite holiday of the year? Did you or your mom spend days making a truly scary costume? Do you want another such day? Each and every year?
Then go to the Witchcraft and the Trasmoz’s Curse Fair. Other towns have their own witch fairs. But do not go to them! Do not accept substitutes. The first and still the best such fair is the one in Trasmoz, Spain. This fair is the one that truly deserves to be called, The International Witches Fair.
This fair takes places every first weekend in July and is just the thing for people who prefer to watch movies about witch burning over roasting marshmallow over an open fire.
This fair is such fun. Watch reenactors capture witches and heretics. Watch the lost souls get tried. Be enthralled by their torture. Be entranced by lovingly recreated witches’s covens. Honestly, is anything near your home that can rival this? I think not.
But wait! There’s more. Listen to the excommunication of the entire town. Puts your “Damn you, (your enemy)” to shame doesn’t it?
Watch as Pope Julius II curses the entire village.
But you can’t see the reenactment of the lifting of the excommunication and cursing. They never happened. The town is still excommunicated and cursed. Can New York City, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, or Bora Bora can say that? No they can’t, only Trasmoz, Spain.
Wait! There’s more.
The festival sports an authentic medieval market place and medieval camp. There are parades, magic shows, musical shows, and medieval combat. You’ll want to go year after year just to see everything.
But wait! There’s more.
Learn about medieval plants. Perhaps you’ll want to learn how to poison someone. It’s okay, it’s okay, all medieval poisons were organic. Or maybe you’ll want to heal people with medieval medicinal plants. To each his own.
During the 1100s, the town of Trasmoz clashed with the nearby Veruela Monastery over firewood and pastures. Such disputes were normally decided by lawsuits or mediation by a higher lord or church official. Such a process proved unsatisfactory to the Monastery’s abbot. He excommunicated the entire town saying that witches and covens were running amok. Excommunication was an unambiguously horrible thing to happen to you in the Middle Ages. However, while bad for the town, excommunication is now an annual economic boon for Trasmoz, a town vying with other village for the tourist Euro.
In 1511, the lord of the town and Abbot Pedro Ximénez de Urrea quarreled. Perhaps the lord would point at the abbot and say, “Look, there goes urea breath.” Who can say? But we do know that the abbott complained to the higher ups. Eventually Pope Julius II cursed the entire town.
Some think the curse came about due to counterfeiting. Local counterfeiters didn’t want visitors poking their noses into this illegal activity. So the law breakers told the abbot stories of wickedness and the rest is history.
The excommunication and curse have never been lifted. Only the pope can do that. It’s something to think about should you ever ponder settling in Trasmoz.
So enjoy the history, the torture, and the food. Go to the International Witches Fair. Make your bookings now. It’s fun for the entire family.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.