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Monday, August 6, 2012

The Queen And Her Royal Court In Traditional Navia

The Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia in Asturias, Spain has a few unique traditions that have developed and been celebrated for 55 years.

The first tradition involves around the nomination, selection and coronation of a Queen and Princess for each Descenso by the Asociación de Amigos de la Ría de Navia. These young women must have either participated in or volunteered for the Descenso in some capacity in order to be considered.

Year after year, a number of remarkable women have never failed to impress their elders and the local community as they carry on the traditions of the Descenso.

Often they are competitive swimmers with the Club Natación Villa de Navia and have participated in the Descenso since they were children.

In the 55th annual edition, Queen Uxía Férnandez García was joined by Princesses Marta Fernández Cadenas and María Isabel Silva Torres to hand-off their crowns to the 55th royal court of Queen María García López (shown on left) and Princesses Marta Sánchez González and Lucia Carrera Pérez.

Queen Garcia won 8 Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia races in her age-group and two overall events before reigning over the Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia in 2012 as an 18-year-old.

The second tradition involves young first-time swimmers. In the parade and swim, the neophytes print NOVATA (female) or NOVATO (male) on their foreheads in colored paint for their first Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia.

The crowds and fellow swimmers smile, greet and encourage the young ones in their first attempt, boosting their spirits and helping calm their nerves.

The third tradition involves the central role of the Pregonero. The Pregonero is the keynote speaker and guest of the Asociación de Amigos de la Ría de Navia who gives a speech at the opening ceremonies of the Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia weekend.

The speech is held in the town square in Navia around midnight to help kick-off the festivities. "We have had Olympic champions and many others from the swimming world deliver wonderful messages to our swimmers, including the Novatos," explained Ignacio Martínez Sela.

"Our traditions help enable our event to grow and help inspire the younger generations to take part," said Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil, Vice President of the Asociación de Amigos de la Ría de Navia who has played a role in every one of the Descensos.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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