Traditions and festivals are the clear expression of the character and the essential values of people and this is undoubtedly the case in Andalusia! The variety of fiestas and celebrations to be found in Andalusia is as broad as its geography and the calendar of events is like an encyclopaedia that summaries the arts and customs of its people and their towns. The spring festivals, sowing and harvest festivals, patron saint’s day fiestas, fairs, wine festivals, open-air fiestas and pilgrimages all demonstrate the finest local crafts, gastronomy, music, dance and religious beliefs.
The Carnival celebrations give a rather noisy start to the season, with a humorous and satirical look at everyday roles in society. During Easter week, faithfully year after year, churches bring out their most valuable treasures to accompany the Passion statues for the processions. The Corpus Christi festivities are the inspiration for another impressive parade. The May Crosses festival brings together the sacred and the profane in perfect harmony. The world of horses and bulls is also an inseparable part of the Andalusian tradition. Jerez de la Frontera is the birthplace of the famous Carthusian horse and of some of the most prestigious ranches for rearing wild bulls. Unfortunately bullfighting still has fundamental importance in Andalusia on account of its deep roots. Unlike Catalonia, which regional parliament has outlawed bullfighting in 2010 on July 28 th. But the amount of opponents in Andalusia is growing as well. Time will tell how this will develop….
“Romerías” are religious processions, heirs of ancient fertility rituals, that usually take place in the countryside. Well known are Spain's biggest festival, the Romeria Del Rocio in Huelva and the Virgin de la Cabeza in Jaén. Up to one million people are expected to travel to the marshes near the mouth of the Guadalquivir River to sing, eat, dance and pay homage to the Virgen del Rocio. The over 3000 festive events celebrated in this region manifests the cheerful and extrovert character of the Andalusians. Some of these are of great renown and can boast that they have been declared Festivals of International Tourist Interest. For example, the Feria in Malaga, the Cadiz Carnival and the Horse Fair of Jerez.