MY POINT OF VIEW 16 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
While walking around Barcelona, perhaps the more observant among you will have noticed that the city’s fountains are empty. There’s no water in them. It’s the same with the artificial lakes, the public swimming pools and all the other places where the water doesn’t have a vital and essential function.
Don’t go thinking, though, that this is because we are as tight-fisted as all the clichés make us out to be. The reason is much more serious and worrying than that: it’s due to the serious drought that we’ve been suffering for far too many months now.
There hasn’t been so little rainfall as now for years. Which is great news for all of you who come to Barcelona just to spend a few days: you can walk around and take it easy, enjoying the sunshine while you have a coffee at a pavement café, or getting marvellously clear views of the city from up above. For the earth beneath our feet, though, and for the everyday lives of the people who live here, the shortage of water is not funny at all.
That’s why you won’t see many pirouettes of water in our streets and squares at the moment. There is, however, a practice that is still being kept up and is well worth seeing: the “dancing egg”.
The origins of this tradition remain unclear: some say it comes from Italy, some that it represents Jesus, while others like to see in it the symbol of fertility brought by Spring. The fact is that, for a few days, in various different fountains around the city, if you look hard you will see an egg spinning round on top of a jet of water in a fountain decorated with flowers.
It’s a spectacle that’s really worth seeing, not only for its hypnotic effect, but also for the mixture of colours, smells and sounds that it produces.
This year, though, for the reason I explained at the beginning of this article, only 5 fountains will have a dancing egg: the one in the Cathedral, the one in the Casa de l’Ardiaca, the one in the Palau del Lloctinent, the one in the Ateneu Barcelonès and the one in the Convent de la Immaculada Concepció. All these fountains will follow the tradition using a water-recycling system that does not waste such a precious commodity. Because there are two things a city must never lose: its traditions, and its head.
QUESTION: Why Barcelona?
ANSWER: Because it’s the only place that has dancing eggs.