Experience Andalucian traditions first-hand and enjoy these ten unmissable village festivals
Andalucia is a land of folklore and traditions and its people know how to enjoy a good party more than anyone. September is a prolific month for these cultural expressions because crops become the centre of attention in small villages. Grab your camera and get ready for fun, because the Andalucians know how to make the most of their celebrations, filling them with colour and joy. We recommend these ten unmissable village festivals in Andalucia.
Día de la Pasa, El Borge (Málaga)
If you are in the province of Málaga on the third Sunday of September you cannot miss the “Día de la Pasa” (“Day of the Raisin”) in El Borge. This festival has become one of the most visited in the Axarquia and honours the flagship product of this beautiful Málaga town, the raisin. The party lasts all day where you can enjoy dancing and singing in the main square. Muscat wine and sausages are the stars at lunch, and the dessert, of course, is a handful of raisins. Throughout the day, the steps of the development process, from picking grapes to bottling, are performed. A cheerful and traditional festival that you should visit if you’re travelling in Málaga.
Autumn Festival, Jérez de la Frontera (Cádiz)
During the second fortnight of September, coinciding with the most traditionally significant time for Jérez, the wine harvest, the city celebrates its outstanding features, those which make it internationally famous: wine, horses, and flamenco. Do not miss this essential festival if you are in the province of Cádiz and watch the grape-crushing, treat yourself to flamenco dancing, visit its cellars and enjoy the beauty of their horses.
Ajoblanco Festival, Almáchar (Málaga)
The first Saturday of September is the day when Almáchar gets dressed up for the Ajoblanco Festival. Ajoblanco is a cold soup made of water, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and salt. In this beautiful Axarquia village, you can enjoy this recipe on a day considered of Tourist Interest in Andalucia. People take to the streets to enjoy the big day of the town to the sound of verdiales, Rocío choirs and flamenco. Do not hesitate to come to this area to experience first-hand one of the most deeply-rooted traditions in the region.
Meeting of the Verdiales Bands, Benagalbón (Málaga)
The third Saturday in September is a traditional day of Málaga as it is a big day for one of its songs and dances. Benagalbón hosts the famous meeting of the verdiales where this expression of culture in Málaga stands out. The Verdiales Bands are each composed of about twenty people dressed in hats decorated with flowers and coloured ribbons, and among the instruments they use are the guitar, violin, tambourine and cymbals. A cheerful festival in which you can enjoy the music of Málaga, it is unmissable if you are in the province.
Grape Harvest Festival, Palma del Condado (Huelva)
In September, we celebrate the Royal Fair of La Palma del Condado, one of the oldest continuously celebrated in Andalucia, held since 1398. Over the years the festival has evolved from being economically driven in older times to the present festive atmosphere. The horse and carriage is one of the most striking elements of this celebration featuring Andalucian costumes and dancing sevillanas and rumbas.
Feria de las Maravillas, Nerja (Málaga)
These festivals’ origins lie in the sixteenth century. In Maro, around the 8th of September, its patron saint’s day, the Virgen de las Maravillas, the town celebrates its fair and festivities. On this day, the image is paraded through the streets with rockets and fireworks, depending on how the crops grew during the year. The incomparable setting of the city of Nerja adds an unmissable priceless extra to this festival.
Día de la Sopa Perota, Álora (Málaga)
In early October, the village of Álora in Málaga, holds its soup festival which seeks to promote the typical products of the area. Perota soup is a traditional dish prepared by the men in their break from farm work to use the bread that had become hard and always reaching for whatever was in the orchards. During this celebration, thousands of servings of soup are handed out accompanied by local wine, olives from Álora and crusty bread. This day also has other activities to liven up lunch, such as performances by flamenco singers and verdiales. Can you afford to miss it?
The Craft Fair at El Granado, Huelva
The Huelva town of El Granado hosts the Craft Fair every October. At the fairgrounds, over thirty entrepreneurial exhibitors dedicated to crafts such as ceramics, wood carving, sewing, leather work, leather and metals, come together. But you can enjoy not only these hand-prepared goods, but also parades, children’s theatre, magic shows, singing and dancing. An exceptional place to welcome the autumn with a holiday which includes the essence and roots of these old trades settled in Andalucia, as well as some native gifts to give to your loved ones.
Regional Ham Fair, Aracena (Huelva)
During the third weekend of October each year, the Regional Iberian Pig and Ham Fair held in Aracena. The aim is to create an exhibition framework and a forum for discussion and debate on the pig-meat sector and Iberian pork products, paramount in our land since time immemorial. Here you can enjoy the best-quality typical Spanish product so make sure you add this celebration to your agenda.
Festivities in Torrox (Málaga)
The Torrox Fair is held the first weekend in October in honour of its patron saint, the Virgen de las Nieves and San Roque. However, the actual feast of the two saints is August 5. The change was due to the locals going to the farms for the harvest when summer arrived and not returning until late September, once the agricultural work was finished. Therefore, for four days in October, they celebrate their fair where folklore and fun go hand in hand with tradition.
If you decide to visit these Andalucian festivals, they will certainly never let you down, especially because it is the best way to experience traditions and receive the warmth of its people.
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