Monday, 28 December 2009

Council proposes ban on smoking in all public places, including streets and plazas

(Ress release) Jimena Council has announced that, in accordance with a similar national law expected to be in place next year, it will be proposing (and presumably approving by majority) a ban on all tobacco smoking in the municipality's public places, including not only bars, restaurants and all buildings but also streets, plazas and gardens. The proposal is to be put to the Council at its next plenary session and the ban is expected to come into effect as from its publication in the Official Provincial Bulletin (BOP in its Spanish acronym), approximately by mid-January. Strong opposition from non-governing parties is expected. (Prospero note: no mention is made of other substances.)>
For those of you who don't know it, today is Spain's equivalent of April Fool's Day, whereupon we who play a joke on you are entitled to shout:
... because this is the Day of the Massacre of the Innocent Saints (Santos Inocentes), which observes the day when, according to the Gospel of Matthew, King Herod ordered all baby boys under 2 years old in Bethlehem to be killed because he was afraid that the baby Jesus born there would become a rival. As it turned out, though, the baby Jesus had been removed to Egypt by Mary and Joseph. So the "joke" was on Herod, and thus followed the tradition of tricking friends on that day. A sad story to be sure, but according to tradition the babies murdered in Jesus' stead went to heaven as the first Christian martyrs. (Find out more on Wikipedia.)

Although the roots of this day are bloody, in modern times the customs practiced on this day are very jovial and fun. Many foreigners in Spain become very confused as absurd or incredible news appear in the papers,  and friends and acquaintances cannot be trusted for their word. Or even a friendly slap on the back, which could well end up with you having a paper 'innocent' stuck there all day. Of course, if you'd remembered it, you might have played a joke on us... Enjoy! (We are particularly proud of last year's item, which caused much rejoicing...)

1 comment:

PROSPERO said...

Received as 'Anonymous', which we don't usually publish, but this one seems inoffensive enough:
"That was some heavy session! I have obviously fallen asleep and woken up on April the first....."