It is March 19th and Fathers’ Day.  It is also one of the additional local public holidays in the village (we’re allowed two)  most of the shops and the banks are closed.  In common with many other Catholic countries that don’t follow nor pay lip-service to the American Hallmark calendar, here Fathers’ day is part of the religious calendar and falls on St Joseph’s day – El día de San José – the putative father of Jesus Christ.

Ever wondered why men baptised José are called Pepe?  José (Joseph) is el Padre Putativo de Jesucristo or shortened to PP.  In Spanish the letter P is not pronounced “pee” as in English, but as “pe” so PP is Pepe.

Many children are given the name of the saint on whose day they are born.  So boys born on 19th March will get the name José, girls born that day will often be called Josefa, familiarly they will frequently be known as Pepe/Pepito if they are boys, or Pepa/Pepita if they are girls.

Mothers’ Day (Mothering Sunday in UK – fourth Sunday in Lent) falls on the first Sunday in May (the month of Mary) in Spain and the second Sunday in May in the USA and others that follow, closely, US patterns.

Although we had been celebrating the warm days with really nice sunshine, temperatures are slipping back down again from 20°+ at the beginning of the week down to 10° this coming Sunday with the threat of rain varying from 20% to 100% and clouds down to 1100 metres – it is almost back to winter.  So much for this Friday being the official start of Spring.

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