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Andalucia’s fiestas

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February

1: San Cecilio Fiesta in Granada’s traditionally gypsy quarter of Sacromonte.

Week before Lent: Carnaval An extravagant week-long event in all the Andalucian cities. Cádiz, above all, celebrates, with uproarious street parades, fancy dress and satirical music competitions.

March/April

Easter: Semana Santa (Holy Week) You’ll find memorable processions of floats and penitents at Seville, Málaga, Granada and Córdoba, and to a lesser extent in smaller towns such as Jerez, Arcos, Baeza and Úbeda. All culminate with dramatic candlelight processions at dawn on Good Friday, with Easter Day itself more of a family occasion.

Last week of April: Feria de Abril Week-long fair at Seville: the largest fair in Spain.

May

First week: Cruces de Mayo Celebrated in Córdoba and includes a “prettiest patio” competition in a town full of prize examples.

Early May (week after Feria de Abril): Feria del Caballo A somewhat aristocratic horse fair is held at Jerez de la Frontera.

Pentecost: Romería del Rocío Horse-drawn carriages and processions converge from all over the south on El Rocío (Huelva).

Last week: Feria de la Manzanilla Prolonged binge in Sanlúcar de Barrameda to celebrate the town’s major product, with flamenco and sporting events on the river beach.

June

13: San Antonio Fiesta at Trevélez (Las Alpujarras) with mock battles between Moors and Christians.

Third week The Algeciras Feria Real is another major event of the south.

End June/early July: International Festival of Music and Dance Major dance/flamenco groups and chamber orchestras perform in Granada’s Alhambra palace, Generalife and Carlos V palace.

July

Early July: International Guitar Festival Brings together top international acts from classical, flamenco and Latin American music in Córdoba.

End of month: Virgen del Mar Almería’s major annual shindig, with parades, horseriding events, concerts and lots of drinking.

August

First week The first cycle of horse races along Sanlúcar de Barrameda’s beach, with heavy official and unofficial betting; the second tournament takes place two weeks later.

5: Trevélez observes a midnight romería to Mulhacén.

13–21: Feria de Málaga One of Andalucía’s most enjoyable fiestas for visitors, who are heartily welcomed by the ebullient malagueños.

15: Ascension of the Virgin Fair With casetas (dance tents) at Vejer and elsewhere.

Noche del Vino Riotous wine festival at Competa (Málaga).

23–25: Guadalquivir festival Bullfights and an important flamenco competition, at Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

September & October

First two weeks Sept: Feria de Ronda Ronda’s annual feria, with flamenco contests and Corrida Goyesca – bullfights in eighteenth-century dress.

First/second week Sept: Vendimia Celebrating the vintage at Jerez.

27–Oct 1: Feria de San Miguel In Órgiva (Las Alpujarras) featuring traditional dancing and a huge paella cook-up.

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