The main characteristics of Granada's festivals are deeply rooted in traditions whose history goes back to the time of Renaissance.
The capture of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs was such a crucial military and political event, that the far-reaching consequences affected tha daily lives of all those living in and around Granada.
The Catholic Monarchs passed legislation to deal with every social aspect of live, in an attempt to Christianise a population that had live under the influences of an Arab culture for many centuries. Although Christian rites and ceremonies were very quickly introduced, a large number of popular traditions survided, that the finally resulted in a cultural syncretism that is most peculiar to Andalusia and the rest of Spain.
Therefore, in discussing Granada's Festivals, richly varied age-old traditions, that are Christian, Arabic and Jewish have to be described becasuse they have all become totally interwoven which each other.
On January 2nd the city commemorates the Conquest of Granada.
It is the most representative holiday regarding its historical aspect for the city.
It remembers the day the Catholic Monarchs entered the Alhambra after the tough agreements signed in Santa Fe on November 25th, 1491.
On January 2nd at dawn, King Boabdil gave over the keys of the Alhambra to Gutierre de Cárdenes in the Salón de la Torre de Comares. Once the door opened, Iñigo López de Mendoza, Count of Tendilla, entered the citadel followed by a great militar parade. Afterwards, Queen Isabella’s confessor, Fray Hernando de Talavera, celebrated the first mass and raised the cross and the royal banner of Castille on the Torre de la Vela.
Nowadays, the celebrations begin at the Capilla Real with a religious function and the waving of the banner which is there kept. Secondly, a civilian-religious parade is organized in which the banner is taken to the main balcony of the City Hall. There, the youngest city councillor waves it three times repeating the protocol formula: “Spain, Castile, Granada, for the illustrious Kings, doña Isabella and don Ferdinand”.
Three Wizards Parade
It dates back from the end of the 19th century and it is the oldest one in Spain. It is a parade symbolizing the arrival to the city of the Three Wizards. It starts at Rector López Argüeta street and finishes at Plaza del Carmen, in front of the Town Hall.
The statues of the three Wizards Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar are usually played by public personalities of Granada and Andalusia. Since 1982 circus characters and animals were added to the procession.
This entourage cannot be more heterogeneus and shows from the traditional camels and horses to different carriages from where a rain of countless sweets fall over the children all along the route.
San Cecilio. Patron Saint of the city.
February 1st. Pilgrimage, Closest Sunday to February 1st.
San Cecilio is the Patron Saint of the city of Granada and the Pilgrimage or Romería dates back from 1599, when a plague devastated Granada and, as the tradition says, we were saved by an appealing the saint.
This Pilgrimage takes place in the Sacromonte neighbourhood, around the Abbey bearing the same name. The views, the cave-houses and vegetation give the area a spectacular character. Close to this day there are public, military and religious acts, and takes placer a solar offering and a solemn mass.
The Pilgrimage was created by the City Council, so it has an very important role. One of the most popular bits is sharing Granada tipical products: “salaíllas”, “tortas jayuyas”, beans, codfish and wine offered by the Council to all the audience enjoying all over the hill with their family and friends. They take these products along with many other homemade ones to the rhythm of popular music and dance.
Celebration date, as liturgical calendar.
Regional Day of Andalusia
February 28 th
From March 24th to 31st, 2013 ( See more )
Declared of International Tourist Interest in 2009
Smell of incense, passion and devotion. Andalusia in its pure form...
Worker´s Day (National Bank Holiday)
May Cross Day (Día de la Cruz)
Celebration of Cross Day starts every year in Granada with a good amount of crosses installed on streets, squares, courtyards, establishments and school centers of the capital, with a special presence in the center of the city and the historic neightborhoods of Realejo and Albaicín.
San Isidro Festival
May 15 th
Sagrado Corazón religious parade
May 26 th
Mariana Pineda Public Festival
Closest Sunday to May 26th
It is the most recently incorporated public festival to the calendar. It honours Mariana Pineda, heroine from Granada who was executed on May 26th , 1831 – by “garrote vil” – for having embroidered a Republican flag.
The different acts organized by the City Council take place in the square bearing the name of the heroine.
Granada´s Corpus Christi Festival
From May 27th to June 2nd, 2013
Corpus Festival is the most important festival of the city, it starts every year on Monday at midnight with the Encencido, that is to say, the lighting of the thousands of light bulbs on the main gate and finishes on next Sunday with a fireworks show.
The Tarasca Day
Corpus Christi Procesion
It was officially created by the Catholic Monarchs as the Main Festival after the taking of the city. They copied the model form Seville’s one that, by the time, was the most sumptuous of Spain.
The parade or procesión to honour the Custody that contained the Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ) was formed by all the parishes of the city and the towns around the Vega valley which also covered all the way through with a special kind of sedge, known as juncia, From the beginning, Archbishop Hernando de Talavera wanted every sector of the population of Granada to be represented and it is so that the entourage included also ‘zambras moriscas’ (Moorish dances). Different carriages paraded where religious scenes were depicted and theatre plays took place. The parade reached such magnitude that years after, in 1573 the so-known as Constituciones Sinodales were established in order to regulate the solemn parade and the kind of shows that it should contain.
As it is known, the “Paseo de la Ciudad” also took place since 1632, which consisted on some kind of festival parade with little demons, giants, big-headed ones, and the mythical Tarasca, a woman on a dragon.
These two parades have remained until our days. And so, the public parade “La Pública” takes place on Wednesday, which is a celebration aimed to children and young ones, being the Tarasca its main character: a mannequin on a dragon that it is supposed to wear the clothes to be trendy next season. And on Thursday, the Big Day, the religious parade which nowadays shows a throne made by the goldsmith and sculptor from Granada, Miguel Moreno.
The tradition of raising altars alongside the parade’s route is still kept.
In Bib-rramble Square, the so-called “Carocas” are shown. The Carocas are cartoons and little poems concerning, in a satirical way, the different events that took place in the city during the last year.The “Feria” or Festival, which starts on Monday previous to Thrusday’s Corpus Christi Day and finishes on the next Sunday, it is located on the outskirts of the city with music stalls and attractions.
Virgen de las Angustias Parade. Patron Virgin of the city.
Last Sunday in September
Last Sunday in September, people activity is constant over Puerta Real, Plaza de Bibataubín and Carrera de la Virgen street. Grandparents go with their children and grandchildren on the route of the sweet smelling winter fruits: figs, quinces, acerolas, pomegranates, jujubes, apricots... chickpea culins and “tortas de la Virgen”, the typical Granada cake made of sugar, cream or chocolate.
Floral Offering to Virgen de las Angustias. Patron Virgin of the City.
Although devotion for this representation of Virgin Mary dated back from the 16th century, its canonical culmination took place in 1913, when She was also declared Patron Virgin of the city. The statue is a work of Torcuato Ruiz del Peral.
On September 15th, the city gets full of people of the city and its province and tourists look amazed the fervour of the Granadinos who get prepared to visit Virgen early in the morning. The centre of the city becomes a colourful show of flowers which l will later become an offering. The pilgrims will leave the flower, one by one, bunch by bunch, in front of the Basilica’s façade.
Last Sunday on September
In the Arabic domination period there was a legend that told that at the famous Cerro del Aceituno –Hill of Aceituno-(also Cerro de los Diablos –Hill of the Devil-) there were a miraculous olive tree that was able to offer its fruits in just one day with all the maturation process all of a sudden. This gave place a celebration on the Ankara day near a tower which was erected there.
After the Cristian conquest of the city the place changed its name to Cerro de los Ángeles –Hill of the Angels- and a chapel was built where mass took place in 1673 for the first time. This chapel was demolished by the French in 1810. However thanks to the determination of the Brotherhood it was built again in 1828.
Although it is the festival of the Albaicin neighbourhood, it has a huge impact in all the population of Granada who assists to the religious parade on the Hill of S. Miguel, near the chapel.
Fiesta Nacional de España
12 de octubre
Todos los Santos
1 de noviembre
Día de la Constitución Española
6 de diciembre
8 de diciembre
Natividad del Señor
25 de diciembre