In Oviedo there is a Tuesday marked in red on the calendar: Field Tuesday or La Balesquida, which is celebrated on the first Tuesday after Pentecost. It is a spring folixa of the first order.
In Asturias there is no prau party without bollu preñáu, with bread stuffed with chorizo or bacon. The capital of the Principality cannot be less. During the Martes de Campo festival, the entire city and all its visitors enjoy bollu in good company. But in addition to bollu, cider and other typical espicha dishes that are prepared from home, this festival requires another capital element of the Asturian folixa: Prau.
Where is Field Tuesday celebrated?
Two are the usual scenarios in which Oviedo goes to the field that day indicated:
Tomás and Monte Naranco Purification Park: the area where the youth go, with live music and enough space to enjoy the gang in a crowded picnic where cider and other liquid elements flow.
San Francisco Park: place where traditionally the party has been celebrated and that is frequented by a more familiar atmosphere. In the Paseo del Bombé, the epicenter of the always crowded party, you look for a place to get back together with old friends. The most coveted tables are those that remain in the shade of the centenary trees. Families with small children are usually located near playgrounds.
Story of Field Tuesday
The party dates back to the 13th century. The oldest conserved regulation dates from the 15 of May of 1450. The essence of the Middle Ages is still alive in different manifestations, as in the Cavalcade of the Herald, of immaculate white, on horse also white, which - on the Sunday prior to that indicated Tuesday - announces the parties of La Balesquida and asks the mayor for permission to distribute the bun and the wine between the brothers and the protective partners. Encourage the audience to accompany him in a procession through the old town of Oviedo.
The starting and ending point is the chapel of the Balesquida, next to the missing hospital donated by 1232, the benefactor of the Tailors' Guild, Velasquita Giráldez. In his honor, the Brotherhood itself was renamed Brotherhood of La Balesquida. During the sixteenth century the festival was held on a Sunday in May, and the image of the Virgin of Hope, from the chapel of La Balesquida to Santa Ana de Mexide, is carried in procession. After the mass the lunch was distributed to the brothers, which consisted of a torrezno, bun and wine. Already in the 18th century, lunch became popular in the Campo de San Francisco and, at the end of the afternoon, a response by dona Velasquita that is still practiced in the parish church of San Tirso el Real.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com