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Pollo asado is the national dish of Abarri. It has many regional varieties.
The national dish of Abarri is called pollo asado. It is a dish of roast chicken stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and bell pepper and served with baked potato slices. Spices and marinade used in the dish vary from one county to another. Other notable dishes include estofado del mar (stewed shrimp, fish, and clams with potatoes and seaweed) and merienda de condesa (soggy custard cake dessert).
Coffee is Abarri’s main beverage. Most Abarrians in rural areas consume as much as three cups of coffee throughout the day. Café con leche (coffee with milk), often served ice-cold, is a favorite drink with snacks throughout the country. Wine is often drunk by urban Abarrians after dinner. Chocolate drinks are popular too.
Several Abarrians observe many Christian holidays, such as saints’ days among Roman Catholics, Holy Week, Spirits’ Day, the Immaculate Conception, and Christmas. Towns and villages, especially those far from major cities, have fiestas or festivals, which may last for up to a week depending on the size of the settlement, dedicated to the birthday of its patron saint. The most festive one is the four-day Carnival that takes place before Lent. The celebration of Carnival in the cities of Uraneta and Remedios are particularly striking, as the city fills with people in costumes and masks. Fireworks display and dancing in the plaza or town or village square are always present in Carnival and other fiestas. The Abarrian Holy Week before Easter is a time of special commemoration for Roman Catholics. Long processions of cross-carrying penitents and floats featuring religious icons or statuettes of saints pass through towns and villages to the church. During Spirits’ Day many Abarrians take a one-day leave from work to visit cemeteries and remember the souls of the dead.
Christmas is the most festive holiday of all in the country, celebrated by the religious and the secular alike. On the sixteenth of December many households set up a nativity scene or a Christmas tree, and on Christmas Eve families gather for a feast and exchange gifts. On Christmas Day the religious attend mass, and many visit relatives and bring presents.
Secular legal holidays include New Year’s Day (January 1), Independence Day (August 11), and Children’s Day (October 20). Cities and towns have their own Foundation Day to commemorate the establishment of their settlements.
Spanish tradition dominated the cultural life of Abarri. A movement that fuses Spanish and Abarrian traditions dating before independence gained support from many artists and intellectuals.
Abarrian arts include handicrafts, painting, sculpture, and performance. Many old places of worship feature religious art from the colonial years. Modern artists have turned to the landscape, the people, and the cities for inspiration. Abarrians are known for their craftsmanship in ceramics and home furniture. Fine porcelains are the specialty of some towns in the northwest. There is an annual exhibition of Abarrian arts and crafts in Ambarri, where craftsmen from every part of the country display and sell their work.
The Museo de la Plaza, the National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museo Historical de Ábarri are located in Ambarri. Remedios is the site of the Abarrian Cultural Gallery, which contains art collections. The national companies of opera, theater, and ballet are found in the capital.
The Abarrian movie-making industry has not quite expanded in the number of participants compared to that from neighboring countries. Despite the low number of films produced, the country has hosted the biennial Neropean Film Festival several times.
Association football or fútbol as it is locally called is the most popular spectator sport. Abarrians enjoy individual activities such as jogging, hiking, and tennis, as well as team sports, like football, baseball, and basketball. Several Abarrian schools have adequate sports facilities. Beach volleyball tournaments are regularly held in coastal settlements.