Andalucia is filled with fascinating cultural events throughout the year. Whilst many of these festivals take place on the date indicated each year, others move slightly in relation to the day of the week or the religious calendar or occasionally weather.
According to Andalucia.com
In order to confirm, the villages town hall website (www.villagename.es) or Facebook page may publish the date or a poster in the few week preceding the festival.
VARIOUS DATES – MAY
TOWNS ACROSS ANDALUCIA
Every town and village in Andalucia has its own feria or fair, and it would be possible, if one had superhuman powers of endurance, to spend the whole summer following them about the region.
VARIOUS DATES – MAY
FIESTA DE MOROS Y CRISTIANOS
This festival is more popular in the East of Spain, in Andalucia in the provinces of Granada and Almeria, It takes place on different many days through out the year depending on the locality. Check out our section on the Moors and Christians Festival to find out which towns celebrate it this month.
29 APRIL – 2 MAY
FESTIVAL: CRUCES DE MAYO
CORDOBA AND TOWNS AROUND ANDALUCIA
Local neighbourhoods in the city Cordoba compete for the prize of best-decorated cross, with plenty of musical accompaniment, from flamenco guitarists to rock bands.
The Crosses of May are also celebrated in many other towns around Andalucia, including:
Añora, Castro del Rio, Villanueva, Benameji, and Puente Genil in Cordoba province;
Bonares in Huelva province;
Casarabonela, Nerja, Frigiliana and Maro in Malaga province;
Churriana de la Vega and Salobreña in Granada province;
as well as in the major cities. In Carmona (Sevilla) it’s called “Las Mayas”.
29 APRIL- 3 MAY
FIESTA DE SAN LEON, FIESTA DE MOROS Y CRISTIANOS
This town’s patron saint’s day is celebrated by handing out special roscas (cakes), blessed by the priest. Also fireworks. The last weekend of April, they have their Moors and Christians fiesta, recreations of important battles, in honour of Nuestra Señora de La Cabeza, who is ceremonially rescued. Costumes are spectacular, with medieval ladies and extravagantly behelmeted and gold-robed Moors. Moors and Christians are most popular in Granada and Almeria provinces – Villa de Zujar (Granada, see below) and El Valle de Almanzora (Almeria), but you can also see them in Benamahoma (Cadiz).
FIESTA DE VERDIALES DE LAS TRES CRUCES
This fiesta takes place at the Ermita de la Tres Cruces, situated between Almogia, Cartama, Alora and Pizarra. Men wear the typical verdiales hats, decorated with flowers, and perform the “Churrimpampa” dance.
ROMERIA SAN JOSE OBRERO
The romeria, whose route and destination date from 2004, goes to Corito. Previously, it used to go the Calvario de Osuna.
1, 8, 15, 22, 29 MAY
FIESTA DE LOS DOMINGOS DE MAYO
PRIEGO DE CORDOBA
This fiesta dates from the 17th century, with processions of women wearing black dresses with traditional lace mantillas every Sunday throughout the month of May.
2 – 5 MAY
FERIA DE PRIMAVERA
The Rota Spring Fair is like many of the other simple Andalucian ferias with plenty of casetas, fairground rides and sevillianas, livestock and beauty competitions all taking place in the streets strung with lights.
CRUJIA DE LOS GAMONES
UMBRIQUECRUJIA DE LOS GAMONES
Crujía de los Gamones is the “crunching of the reeds” and the village streets are filled with fires on which the reeds are heated and then struck on stones which produces a loud explosion. At night the streets are decorated with flower-covered crosses, and the focal point of the town moves to the Plaza de la Verdura. The festival is accompanied by the coplas de columpio, popular and sometimes risqué songs sung by the older members of the village to the people pushed on swings which are specially installed for this occasion.
PATIOS DE CORDOBA
This is the central part of the annual May festival, which also includes the Battle of the Flowers (1 May), and coincides with two romerias (see below), closely followed by the Feria. See the patios decked out with thousands of colourful scented blooms, as well as mosaic decorations. Many cultural events too, including top flamenco performers.
4- 5 MAY
FIESTA DE LA CRUZ
4- 5 MAY
FESTIVIDAD DE NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LORETO
DOS TORRES, CORDOBA
VERBENA DE SAN EUFRASIO
In honour of the patron saint of the town, located in a national park, this fiesta always takes place in the days before 15 May.
JEREZ HORSE FAIR
JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, CADIZ
The Jerez Horse Fair or Feria del Caballo de Jerez draws visitors from the world around and generally is in or runs into May. Sip the local tipple, oloroso or finosherry, as you watch the fine Andalusian horses at this feria, which takes place in a park. Casetas are all open to the public.
ROMERIA DE SAN GREGORIO
CONQUISTA AND POZOBLANCO, CORDOBA
These towns celebrates their annual pilgrimage in honour of the patron saint each year at the beginning of May. In Pozoblanco it takes place on the Friday or Monday closest to 9 May, the saint’s day, and is called the Feria Chica. Cork is burned at the door of the ermita, followed by a flower-decked procession through the streets.
FERIA DE MAYO
LA CAROLINA, JAEN
This is still an important livestock fair – the origin of most ferias, dating from the 19th century – with prizes for best berrenda cow (an Andalucian breed), segureñasheep (from the Sierras de Segura and de la Sagra) and mountain goat. Of course it still has all the usual singing and dancing, sherry and casetas.
FIESTA (RELIGIOUS AND GASTRONOMIC): LA GRAN HUEVADA AND SAN ISIDRO
VILLAFRANCA DE CORDOBA, CORDOBA / ESTEPONA
In Cordoba the image of San Isidro “Chiquito” is taken to the Cespedilas park, where children dressed in traditional costume offer local produce. In the huevada, 10,000 eggs are fried are served free along with bread and wine to the townspeople. On the previous Sunday (6 May 2011), the Gran Marranada takes place, eating a pig which has been roasting all day.
In Estepona the San Isidro feria is celebrated by all. A big plot of land by the San Fernando football ground is taken over by rides, music marquees and food stalls. The celebrations start on wednesday evening (11 May) and finish in the early hours of Monday morning. This fair isn’t quite as big as the July equivalent but there is still so much to do and a great time to be had.
ROMERIA DE LA BELLA
This romeria takes place on the second weekend of May. The festivities start on the Saturday in this town famous for its strawberries – flowers are laid out in the main square in honour of the virgin, Nuestra Señora de la Bella; banners are taken from the ermita, near El Terron, to Santo Domingo church. Early the next morning, she is taken back to the ermita accompanied by all the townspeople, dressed up and riding horses, singing and dancing, with a firework display in the evening. On Monday night she is carried back to her church.
FIESTAS DE CRISTO DEL LLANO Y DE LA VIRGEN DE LA ENCINA
BAÑOS DE LA ENCINA, JAEN
This fiesta takes place on the second weekend in May. The romeria is of the Virgen de la Encina, who is taken to her sanctuary on the second Sunday in May, while on the Saturday flowers are offered to her. The procession of Jesus del Llano takes place on Monday.
FIESTA DE SAN ISIDRO
TOWNS ALL OVER ANDALUCIA
San Isidro is the patron saint of the farmers, and many villages celebrate his day with a procession through the fields and a fiesta, as well as agricultural trade shows. A fine place to attend this charming festival is the rural town of Montefrio, in Granada Province or Estepona. In Pozoblanco (Cordoba), as bells are rung and drums placed, the faithful pray for departed brothers; at night, figures made by the women of the town are burnt in honour of San Isidro Labrador.
This saint is also honoured with a romeria in Santa Eufemia (Cordoba), with a cart competition and the destination being El Ventorro. Other towns which celebrate San Isidro include Santa Elena in Jaen, and Alameda in Malaga; also, see Villafranca de Cordoba, above. In Cuevas del Campo, in Granada, the fair lasts from 14-17 May, with a Mass and procession on 15 May, the romeria on 16 May, and the blessing of the fields on 17 May. In Jodar, Jaen, it is combined with the Fiestas de Primavera; the romeria takes place on 15 May, to the Ermita de la Fuente Garciez.
Other towns that celebrate this fiesta are Alfarnate, Alfarnatejo, Algatocín, Almogía, Archidona, Ardales, Benamocarra, Cártama, Cuevas Bajas, Cuevas del Becerro, Guaro, Jubrique, Nerja, Periana, Sierra de Yeguas and Teba.
FERIA DE NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA SALUD
The Cordoba Spring Fair, or Feria de Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of the Health), takes place during the last week of May. Its venue is the municipal fairground on the north bank of the River Guadalquivir, a few kilometres to the south-east of the city. It has flamenca dresses, dancing, sherry and horses: Andalucian springtime at its best. Similar to the Seville feria, but with publiccasetas.
ROMERIA DE SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR
PRADO DEL REY, CADIZ
This pilgrimage in the Sierra de Cadiz town takes place on the weekend after the saint’s day (15 May). After the Saturday evening Mass, there are musical and dance performances. On Sunday the pilgrims take the Granujales road to the Dehesa de Hortales, riding on horses, and in carts and carriages. Also takes place in Bujalance, Cordoba, where they have cart competitions, and elect a Romera Mayor (Best lady pilgrim); the destination of this pilgrimage is El Buitron.
OFRENDA DE FLORES/ROMERIA
This festival takes place in this pretty town in the Sierra de Cadiz on the last Saturday of May; the following day is the romeria. Flowers are offered to the “Virgencita de la Sierra”, from horseback, with the riders dressed in typical Andalucian outfits. On the Sunday, the romeros (pilgrims) ride to the Puente la Nava for a day of eating, singing and dancing.
DIA SAN FERNANDO
El Rey Fernando III, King of Castile, Galicia and Leon, was the “saviour” of Seville, capturing the city (after Ubeda, Cordoba and Jaen) from the Moors in 1248. San Fernando is buried in Seville cathedral, in the Capilla Virgen de los Reyes (Virgin of the Kings Chapel), where his body is on show on this festive day.
25 – 28 MAY
This pilgrimage sees hermandades coming from towns and cities all over Spain, but especially Sevilla and Huelva provinces in Andalucia, in gypsy wagons pulled by oxen. They meet in a small town and party hard – drinking, dancing, socialising – all day and night. The highlight is when the Virgen del Rocio is brought out of her church on Sunday.