Festivities of the Murcia region
Read this article to find out about Murcia's most popular festivities throughout the year
In a land with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, it is not difficult to find any excuse for a celebration, knowing that the weather will surely accompany you. The reasons are varied, from the majesty of the commemorations of historical events, to the sobriety of religious festivals, to a whole range of varied and very colourful celebrations of a more traditional nature, and important music and theatre festivals.
The colours, the shows, the music and the folklore create the atmosphere of the festivities of the Region of Murcia. Throughout the year, the villages and towns of the region hold traditions where feelings, culture, entertainment and solemnity are expressed. The festivities relate religion, the huerta, history, art and the Carthaginian, Roman and medieval past.
Scroll down if you want to know which time of the year is best to come visit the region!
- Holy Week
- Bando de la Huerta
- Entierro de la Sardina
- Feria de Septiembre
The Holy Week is an important celebration throughout the whole Spanish territory. In Murcia, it is a celebration of beauty, baroque and passion, featuring processions that express love, faith and joy.
Each procession has its own identity, making it a very unique Holy Week.
Visiting Murcia during Easter is the perfect occasion to see how the impressive processions come to life and flood the streets, turning the city into an open-air museum.
On Holy Friday, the Salzillo procession takes place, which is the most important procession of the week. It takes place at seven in the morning, during which, the first ray of sunshine, known as the "beso", must be reflected on the banner of the Nuestra Padre Jesús Nazareo or on the face of the Dolorosa.
The Bando de la Huerta
The Bando de la Huerta is the most important day of the Spring festivals in Murcia. These festivities always take place on the Tuesday in the week following the Holy Week. It is a festival in which the huerta tradition is exalted and in which all Murcians go to the streets dressed in a regional costume. The majority of Murcians walk through the streets of the city together with the parade of floats where each group represents each of the rural activities of the Murcian land.
Along with the parade of floats, one of the highlights of the Bando de la Huerta are the famous barracas, located in the most important squares and gardens of Murcia. They offer the typical products of the traditional gastronomy of the region, as well as folklore performances that show the traditional Murcian art and culture.
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Entierro de la Sardina
The Entierro de la Sardina takes places on the weekend after Easter. Sardina groups organise popular marches, and then the sardine is symbolically buried in a fireworks display and a large popular festival.
The origins of this parade date back to the 1850s. The sardine symbolises fasting and abstinence during Lent.
Crowning the Spring festivities of the city of Murcia, the Entierro de la Sardina is probably the craziest night in Murcia.
In the days leading up to the funeral, the members of the various groups entertain the town with passacaglia. On the eve of the funeral, the Testament of Madame Sardine is read from the balconies of the town hall. The party ends very late, when, after the last caross has been removed, the stone-cardboard effigy of the Lenten sardine is burnt in the Plano de San Francisco amidst the popular jubilation.
These three festivals in Murcia have been declared of International Tourist Interest. These three festivities sum up the culture and history of the city.
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Feria de Septiembre
The September Fair in Murcia is a festival that has its roots in the medieval fairs. The tradition of this fair has been lost, however, there are still traces of its origin, the livestock fair and the craft stalls.
Nowadays, it is a multi-faceted celebration that comprises different celebrations such as the Moors and Christians and the traditional pilgrimage to la Fuensanta.
The Moors and Christian commmeorate the foundation of Murcia by the Arabs and the conquest of the city by Alfonso X the Wise. During the fair, the encampments are set up on the Paseo del Malecón. The groups and their hosts parade through the city centre on several occasions.
The event that attracts the largest crowds is the return of the Virgin to the Sanctuary of la Fuensanta. This celebration commemorates the solemn coronation of the Virgin, the Virgen de la Fuensanta, who is the patron Saint of the city is accompanied to her sanctuary.
On top of these historical commemorations, one can also enjoy attractions, vertigo, speed and fun at the Fica fairgrounds, as well as bullfighting festivities and the traditional "huertana" food, which can also be enjoyed on the Paseo del Malecón in the areas known as the "huertos", which are vegetable gardens.
If you wish to know more about Spain's most popular festivities, click here.