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Fiestas, Ferias, Flamenco – pure Andalusian joie de vivre

Fiestas, Ferias, Flamenco – pure andalusische Lebensfreude

As already mentioned, the physical well-being comes first for the Andalusians, but celebrating is at least as important to them! Actually there is always a reason for this and if you just meet and move from bar to bar as a group to try the different tapas, called tapear! Summer sees by far most fiestas, Lanjarón and Orgiva each have a full July and August program with various, almost daily, events, outdoor dancing, musical performances or open-air cinema, also lots of different activities for children. In July there is a flamenco evening every year in Lanjarón, with artists known throughout the country, such as the group Mimbre y Agua, who come from Lanjarón. In Orgiva the flamenco evening takes place in August and here the main cantaor, Alvaro, is an Orgiveño!

A special kind of flamenco ballet takes place every summer – from mid-July to late August – in the gardens of the Alhambra, the Generlife. Lorca y Granada en los Jardines del Generalife – a must for flamenco lovers !! Already the ambience, the stage surrounded by the plants of the garden, behind it often the full moon and below the illuminated Granada! The choreographer is always a very well-known person in Spain and so are many of the dancers and singers, the spectators come by bus from all over Andalusia. The performance is always based on one of the poems by Garcia Lorca, a well-known poet from Granada, who was unfortunately executed by Franco.
Almost every weekend in summer you have the choice of several fiestas all over the Alpujarra and you never know where to go. They celebrate New Year’s Eve in Berchules !! – the full program! At every fiesta or feria there are usually paella or migas or other dishes for free, sponsored by the townhall, this is a must and will cost them votes if they dare to break with this tradition!

“Musica en las Montañas” was founded a few years ago. An association, run by locals and foreigners living here, invites various artists from all over the world, to give one or more performances for free (donations gladly accepted!). Mostly up in the villages, on the main square or outside on the old threshing areas, Eras – i.e. outdoors at night, with the imposing mountain backdrop behind – you have never experienced anything like this! At the moment they are working on an Alpujarra opera and from time to time they are already performing the finished pieces. In Orgiva the townhall organizes “Musica en los Rincones” 5-6 times in summer, a small stage and chairs are set up at various small places at night and a (mostly lay) group makes music for us – every kind of music – great atmosphere.

The most important religious festival in Orgiva takes place on Thursday, 2 weeks before Maundy Thursday, the Bajada, the next day there is an all-night procession where many people go barefoot – family members living anywhere in the world will come to visit this weekend. The Feria (a kind of fun fair, formerly a large, multi-day farmers’ market with entertainment) in Orgiva takes place at the end of September. There are 4 days of celebrations and only the best is good enough for the townhall. Many concerts with famous artists, a giant paella (free), a Migas competition, a parade of decorated carriages, but the best thing is the atmosphere, many locals wear their flamenco costumes, which you see more and more over the years.

The holiday homes in Orgiva El Garzopo and La Rueda have these celebrations right on the doorstep. The fiesta of their patron saint, San Lorenzo, takes place in Guajar Faragüit in August. You will be surprised how many people fit in such a small village !!! Partying and dancing during 4 full days and esp. nights! 2 large processions take place, which almost lead past the holiday home in Andalusia La Cueva and each end with a GIANT fireworks display outside the bar La Parada. During this time you can see an extraordinary number of shooting stars – which the locals call “Lagrimas de San Lorenzo”, the tears of San Lorenzo!

Easter is the most important time of the year in all of Andalusia, processions with lots and lots of splendor take place everywhere, Granada alone sees 32 of them in just 8 days. There are 2 or 3 intersections in the city where the various processions pass. Incredible! It is difficult to recommend a specific day, but on Wednesday the procession of the gitanos takes place that lasts all night and everyone stops ever so often for a spontaneous flamenco performance – great!
The smaller towns of course also have their processions, including Guajar Faragüit and Orgiva. In El Padul there will also be one on Wednesday, which will pass the spectator for a total of 3 hours!

Another festival is the Dia de la Cruz (Day of the Cross) on May 3rd. An old custom that is “revived” more and more and now takes place in almost all places. The best thing to do is go to Granada – large crosses are set up and decorated in every square, in every barrio and in many backyards. Because they are awarded, people really make an effort with the decoration! Follow the people and you will come to backyards that you would never have found otherwise. The old part of town, el Albayçín has a specially beautiful cross. Of course there is a lot of supporting program with music and dance etc. many wear traditional clothes and you can see children walking through the city on donkeys. A stage is set up in front of the town hall where dance performances take place.

A must if you are vacationing in one of our holiday homes in Andalusia at this time!
We could give you many, many more tips … check out Ferias, Fiestas – annual program, you will find more.