After four days of music performances, eating buñuelos y chocolate and loud explosions, the last night of the festival of Santa Filomena – an example of Órgiva’s much-loved celebrations – came to an end.
The parading of religious effigies is, of course, nothing new in Spain and as moths flickered around the street lamps and bats shot through the air like black comets, a procession of 100 people, following a band of 40 or so teenagers, made its way around the narrow streets of the Barrio Bajo where Filomena spends her days. (Filomena – luminis philia – means ‘daughter of light’, hence filament.)
Behind glass, tucked away in a side alley next to the beautiful house she once occupied (one of the oldest in Órgiva and, legend has it, where Napoleon’s troops rested 200 years ago), she makes an appearance once a year. It was both a solemn and bonkersly-loud affair.
At 1am, fireworks lit the darkness as the full moon (actually the day before and a supermoon) illuminated the mountains surrounding Órgiva. Quite a spectacle. See our short film below.
The story of Filomena – thrown into the River Tiber on the orders of the Emperor with an anchor around her neck (hence the attribute and presence of an anchor in this effigy) only to be rescued by angels – can be read here.
© con jamon spain