Traditional Events - month by month - April
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.
Summer Ferias start in April with the 'Feria de Abril' in Seville (see below), also check our list of Summer Fairs.
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.
Córdoba, Jaen Sevilla, Granada
These events are especially important in the towns of Cordoba province’s campiña, undulating fields to the south of the capital, and Sierra Subbetica, south of the campiña. Representing the last frontier of the Castille, the Catholic Kings’ territory, with the Nazari kingdom in the 15th century, this area was the scene of many battles between Moors and Christians. After the Reconquest, the towns’ inhabitants, often non-Christians, were strongly encouraged to join the Catholic fold. Look out for events in Puente Genil, Baena, Priego and Iznajar in Cordoba, as well as Herrera in Seville province, Alcautede and Alcala La Real in Jaen, and Loja in Granada. Hermandades (brotherhoods) celebrate special meals in their cuarteles every weekend during the Cuaresma (Lent – 40 days). In these towns, the brotherhoods celebrate Semana Santa itself by dressing up as biblical characters with special masks.
Penultimate Sunday of April,
Romería de Bajada de Ntra. Sra. de Araceli
In this Romeria the villages meet at dawn to walk up to the summit of Sierra de Aras in search of their patron. At 15.00 they bring down to the town the figure of Nuestra Señora de Araceli on their shoulders through the olive groves. the official welcome reception by the dignatories of the town is at 19.30 at Puerta de la Mina. The virgin is taken around the town and installed in the parrish church of San Mateo. At this time the singing is lead by the local choir of a solemn local hymn composed in 1948 by Aramburu (words by José María Pemán) when the virgin was crowned.
ROMERIA DE SANTO DOMINGOPenultimate Sunday of April,
Originally the penultimate Sunday of lent and now tending to be the penultimate Sunday in April. This Romeria starts in the centre of the city of Cordoba (Avenida de la República Argentina) amd leads it way into the sierra at the Santuario de Santo Domingo de Scala Coeli where there is a floral tribute by the Real Hermandad del Santísimo Cristo y San Álvaro de Córdoba. The event celebrates the miricle of Dominican monk San Álvaro de Córdoba,who never stopped to help the sick.
Romería Virgen de la Cabeza
Penultimate Sunday of April,
El Carpio, Córdoba
Romeria on the Sunday which is part of week long celebrations in the village of El Carpio in Cordoba province. The main procession is on the first Sunday with the image of the virgin leaving the Asuncion parish church at 11.00 and taking a traditional route around the town. After this there is a meal in the caseta municipal. In the eveneing there is dancing and the fireworks at 23.00 park the end of the event. The folowing sunday there is a smaller event called a 'translado' where the image of the virgin is returned to the church.
ROMERIA SANTA MARIA DE PIEDRAS ALBAS23 April,
El Almendro, Huelva
Villa Nueva de las Castillejos, Huelva
This festival starts in both villages at 08.00 on Resurrection Sunday by drums sounding in the village streets.
An hour later the ‘mayordomos’, acompanied by members of the brotherhood and devotees of the Reina del Andévalo, leave from the parish of Villanueva de los Castillejos heading towards El Almendro, accompanied by a drum beat. At 10.30 a mass takes place to celebrate the resurrection in El Almendro, after which the procession continues around the village. At 12.00 there is a gathering at the gates of the old flower mill and from there a horse procession continues in the main streets of both villages.
On Easter Monday, the drums begin again at 08.00. The fiesta finishes on Wednesday known locally as Miércoles de los Burros, (Donkey Wednesday) wich is a gathering of donkeys at 18.00 in the gates of the old flour factory ahead of a procession around the town.
FIESTA DE SAN JORGE
Palos de la Frontera, Huelva
This fiesta is celebrated in the Columbine town of Palos, from where Columbus set sail in 1492. Different activities take place, from cultural - plays, to sporting - basketball competitions, cycle races, bullfights.
FIESTAS DE MOROS Y CRISTIANOS EN HONOR DE LA VIRGEN DE LA CABEZA24 April,
Villa de Zujar, Granada
This feria includes a romeria (dating from the 16th century, the oldest in Granada province) to a mountain-top ermita, to los papeles, a themed two-act play, which tells of the Virgin’s cautivero and rescate (capture and rescue).
FIESTA AND ROMERIA DE SAN MARCOS
Almeria & Granada
The first mayor of Adra (also shared between Berja and Dalias), appointed by Fernando VI, was a fan of San Marcos. The statue of the saint is carried out of his church, paraded around the village, and then loaded onto a tractor and taken to an ermita, accompanied by floats, mules and horses. Roscas (cakes), blessed by the priest are handed out free; one is hung from the saint’s arm.
San Marcos is also celebrated in Ohanues, Almeria (also features bulls and cows); Castro del Rio, Cordoba (commemorates a victory against the Moors; procession to countryside, children carry drums, sabers and gorretinas - brightly-coloured paper soldier’s hats - to get the battle ambience); and Loja, Granada (where it commemorates the battle of Almansa).
Other towns where this romería is celebrated include Villanueva de la Concepción, Alfarnate, Alfarnatejo, Benaoján, Casabermeja, Cuevas de San Marcos, el Borge, Istán, Villanueva de Algaidas and Villanueva del Rosario.
Romería Virgen de la Cabeza
Last Sunday of April,
Virgin de la Cabeza has been the patron of the village since 1861. On the last Sunday in April the villages climb up to the hermita where they bring the virgin back to the village. Celebration include a local version of Fandango and a local dish called "la gachamiga".
FIESTA Y ROMERIA DE LA VIRGEN DE LA CABEZA
Last Sunday of April,
The story goes that in 1227, a shepherd with a damaged arm found an image of the Virgin on the Cerro de Cabezo (a mountain peak in the Sierra Morena); soon after, his arm was miraculously cured. The romeria, which goes the sanctuary built on this spot, dates from the 14th century, and was mentioned by Cervantes. It is the biggest in Andalucia after El Rocio, and is attended by 600,000 people every year (El Rocio has a million). It is the oldest Romeria in Spain. This Virgin is the patron saint of hunters.
Romería Virgen de la CabezaLast Sunday of April,
Virgen de la Cabeza is the saint of the district of 'Estación' Alhora. (In the valley by the train station) There are festivities all wekend but the highlight is on the Sunday morning at 11.30, after a Eucarist service in the chapel, the Virgen de la Cabeza is carried aroound the streets of the 'barrio'. Lead by civic leaders, the local town band provides the music.
FIESTA DE SAN LEON, FIESTA DE MOROS Y CRISTIANOS27-30 April,
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).
Los Remedios, Seville
May continued >