[Feria de Órgiva 2015, here]
[Old post] If you’re visiting the area it’s always fun to stumble upon a festival or celebration – and the locals certainly know how to enjoy them. If they’re not burning things, cooking gigantic paellas in the street or letting off fireworks, they’ll be parading religious effigies around town. And it’s often a combination of these things.
Órgiva, like many Spanish towns, has separate neighbourhoods (barrios) which hold their own celebrations, normally in the summer months. Ask in any bar and you’ll soon know what’s coming up.
Órgiva’s diverse population means all sorts of other things are celebrated – from the summer solstice to Eid al-Fitr.
Here’s our list of festivals and celebrations by month – please help us fill any gaps. Enjoy the party!
20th – Fiestas de San Sebastián, patron saint of Órgiva. Service at the Hermitage, procession of statue around the town and fireworks display [Órgiva].
20th – Fiestas de San Sebastián. Bands walk to each religious effigy the evening before in the town and play a different tune at each one. [Lanjarón].
From what we’ve gathered, February is a cold month so perhaps it’s best there are no festivals – unless you know otherwise.
There’s a fancy dress parade in Lanjarón (Mickey Mouse, Miley Cyrus, Glenda Jackson?), but we’re not sure quite when.
28th – Día de Andalucía marks the anniversary of a referendum in 1980 which led to Andalucía becoming an autonomous community in Spain.
Something must be happening around here. We’ve noticed that almost any excuse is given to celebrate, but we’ll have to wait and see what it is.
In La Herradura on the coast the town’s patron saint, San Jose, is celebrated on the 19th. There’s a procession in the old part of town, horse races on the beach and fireworks in the evening.
Semana Santa. Two weeks before Easter (late March or April) on the Thursday, the statue of Cristo de la Expiración at the altar of Órgiva’s church (La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Expectación), is removed and carried around town. There are fireworks. 3rd and 4th of April in 2014. [Órgiva]. Interesting photos and information.
Semana Santa. The Made in La Alpujarra fair (Hecho en la Alpujarra) celebrates the food, crafts and customs of the region. Over 20,000 people turned up at the last one. It’s between 17th-20th in 2014. [Órgiva].
Last Saturday – Fiesta de San Marcos. It’s the 26th in 2014. [Los Tablones].
3rd – Día de la cruz (Day of the cross). Dressed in traditional clothes, a procession heads up to the Ermita del tajo de la cruz with each person holding a pastry with an egg in the middle. At least no-one goes hungry. [Lanjarón].
15th – Día de San Isidro. In the afternoon a procession, which includes children dressed in colourful costumes, heads for the Ermita on the edge of town. San Isidro is the patron saint of farm workers. [Lanjarón].
Last Sunday in May – Fiesta de la Virgen de la Fe at Las Barreras on the outskirts, west of town. It’s the 25th May in 2014. [Órgiva].
Evening of 23rd into 24th – San Juan: fiestas del agua y el jamón. Join the fun and get soaked in water for an hour at midnight. We’re told it’s mayhem – but what a way to cool off.
It’s to do with John the Baptist, but many people just want to get drunk and eat lots of jamón. [Lanjarón].
16th – Fiesta de Virgen del Carmen. The Barrio Alto at the top of Órgiva is host to this neighbourhood’s celebrations. There’s a similar event involving doughnuts in Lanjarón.
Eid al-Fitr. The culmination of the month-long period of fasting (Ramadan) in either July or August. In 2014 Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated from sunset of Sunday 27th July.
29th – Fiesta de Santa Marta. Marta, housed in a glass box opposite the children’s playground, means a lot to people here, especially the oldies and families who formerly worked in the mines of the Sierra de Lújar. The evening before sees churros, music and dancing. [Órgiva].
Last Saturday – Lanjarón hosts a Flamenco festival in the Parque del Salado. [Lanjarón].
2nd week – Santa Filomena. A small effigy, for most of the year behind glass in the Barrio Bajo, is carried around town. Filomena means ‘daughter of light’, hence filament. It’s the 10th of August in 2014. [Órgiva].
14th – Fiesta Pipirrana. A short distance from Órgiva, Los Tablones has its own Fiesta of the Cucumber and Tomato Salad – we’re assuming this is the same thing. [Los Tablones].
Last Saturday – Get your rocks off at a music festival in the Parque del Salado in Lanjarón. Just don’t expect Guns n’ Roses. [Lanjarón].
29th to 5th of October – Feria de Órgiva. Myriad events over four days including music, food, exhibitions and partying which marks the end of summer. Information (in Spanish) on this website.
And here’s our post about the arrival of it in 2013. [Órgiva].
29th – Fiesta de San Miguel. [Órgiva].
[See above entry about Feria de Órgiva.]
First Saturday – Virgen del Rosario. A night procession through the town. [Lanjarón].
Eid al-Adha – The Feast of Sacrifice. In 2014 Eid al-Adha will be celebrated from sunset of October 3rd.
12th – Romería de la Virgen del Pilar. Yet another procession to a chapel on the road between Lanjarón and Órgiva. Many pilgrims visit at night, although we’re not sure why. [Lanjarón].
1st – La Castañada. It sounds like the perfect match – roasted chestnuts and a swig or two of anisette – accompanied by a sweet dessert, gachas de los santos (porridge of the saints). It all happens in the Town Hall square in the evening. It can take place on the 31st of October. [Lanjarón].
22nd – Fiesta de Santa Cecilia. There’s an evening concert in the Salón de usos múltiples. [Lanjarón].
5th – Fiesta de Tango. Your chance to enjoy some yearly passion (or at least watch it) in Lanjarón. In 2013 it’s held at the Balneario at the west of town. [Lanjaron].
6th – Día de la Constitución. In 1978, a new constitution was approved via referendum, a step in Spain’s transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy.
So that’s our best shot at the local fiestas and ferias over the year.
Here’s a film from inside Órgiva’s church in 2013. It shows the type of thing that happens here during religious festivals. Clearly a time for quiet reflection.
Feria de Órgiva – it’s arrived!
Órgiva and environs: main section
© con jamón spain
Great round-up! I’ve never been up to Órgiva but I’m keen on going this year. Shame I missed the chestnut and porridge party, that sounds right up my street. I went to Lanjaron for San Juan last year – madness!
I suppose you must already know about the legend of Dragon Festival? I’ve been twice since it moved to Santa Fe but I’m told that it was ten times better when it was in Órgiva!
Hi Josh – yes, we mention the festival in our post about Orgiva hippies – and link to your write-up about it (in the comments section)! Hopefully the list of festivals will increases as time goes by.
The endless fiestas and puentes (sort of prolonged bank holiday weekends)… sigh. Many years ago, when I worked for Thomas Cook Financial Services, we had a kind of ‘cheat sheet’ with every country’s official holidays on it, so we would know when not to bother calling the banks, etc. According to this, the only country in the world with more holidays than Spain is Sri Lanka. And our list didn’t even include the local festivities, otherwise Spain would have been in the lead by a mile. Or ten.
Is this what they call a ‘good work-life balance’ ? – or does it annoy people when they realise they can’t go to the bank, supermarket etc… What amazes us is that a town like Orgiva is relatively sleepy for much of the time and then, suddenly, thousands of costumed people appear from nowhere for days on end.