We Vila-real'ers are very hard workers, but because
of this we like to enjoy our free time as intensively as we work. There
are two main FeStIvALweeks
every year: Fiestas de San Pascual in May, and Fiestas
de la Virgen de Gracia in September. Don't miss them if you
come near Vila-real those days!
Additionally, there are several other bank and religious holidays
spread thru the year, some of them of a very old tradition. A brief description
can be found in the following schedule:
Cabalgata de Reyes (Epiphany Parade)
5th in the evening and 6th in the morning.
A great parade based on the Christian
tradition of the Three Magic Kings that went to visit and honour Jesus
some days after his birth. Dressing accordingly, the three kings courts
parade run thru Vila-real downtown streets. Most of the public are children
that sing a traditional and peculiar song in Valencian, called "Tirori,
Tirori", which is repeated again and again reaching its top
moment when the Three Kings arrive to the Main Square. During that night
and the 6th in the morning, the Three Kings bring gifts home to those children
whos parents asked for it previously. Young children believe the Kings
are whom really bring the gifts and toys if they were good during the year.
San Antonio (Saint Anthony)
16th in the evening and 17th morning.
On the 16th, a very special procession
happens: many people parade with their pets or other animals to assist
to a religious benediction. This is called "Matxa", and
a peculiar crown-shape bread ("rotllo de Sant Antoni")
is given to every present. On the 17th, Saint Anthony's day, small round
breads are blessed and distributed in all churches around the city.
City Foundation day
The week comprising the 20th.
During the week, several cultural
acts are organised to commemorate the City foundation by King Jaime I.
Concerts, art exhibitions, and a popular flower offer to the King's statue,
located in the Main Square. This great statue, by the local artist Llorens-Poy,
was raised in 1974, 700th year of the City Foundation.
Christian commemoration of the Passion
and Death of Jesus. This week keeps the old religious tradition with processions
on the Wednesday and Holy Friday, which include mobile scupltures ("Pasos")
representing scenes of Jesus's last week. Those "Pasos" are real
mobile artworks, most of them by Ortells and Vicent. The several "Pasos"
are owned by different "Cofradias" (Brotherhoods), which parade
wearing special dressings that cover their faces, inspired in old traditions
from the Middle-Ages.
Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday)
The sunday after Holy Friday.
A special procession happens very
early in the morning: Two groups go different ways out of the St.Jaime's
church. One is carrying a "Paso" representing Virgin Mary. The
other goes with Jesus crucified. Both groups confluence at the Main Square,
representing Mary and Jesus meeting ("Encuentro") after
his Resurrection. At that very moment, firewoks are set on. After this
procession, young people go for a picnic day, that is repeated monday and
Saint Vicente Ferrer
Next weekend after Easter.
Picnics happen around the countryside,
ending Saint Vicente monday, Patron of the Valencia Region.
San Pascual Baylon
The week comprising the 17th of May,
Saint Pascual Baylon day.
Fiestas are dedicated to Saint Pascual Baylon,
Patron Saint of the city, since 1917. They are the main festivals of
the year. During ten days the city changes its daily appearance with
parades, processions, music parties, shows, sport competitions, and the
traditional bull runs: "bou per la
vila" (bull run within the old village) and "bou
embolat" (fireball bull). There is a continuous activity,
on which the Penyes (Groups
of friends) play a main role. On the 16th, day before Saint Pascual day,
all devots bring flowers to the Saint's sepulcre, and a "foguera"
(big fire) is set in front of Saint Pascual church, burning old furniture
that people wants to get rid of. On monday, a traditional dinner in the
street, called "xulla" (chop) because this is the base
for the main course, is celebrated all over the city, amussed with orchestras
playing in almost every neighbourhood.
Corpus Christi day
Religious procession carrying the
gothic keeper from the Saint Jame's main church treasure.
Festa del Termet (Hermitage Festival)
First sunday of July.
It sets the start for the summer
season in the city. Many families have a second house in the countryside
for vacations, and this is the day they move in. Religious celebration
with a procession around the Virgin Mary of Grace Hermitage followed by
a popular breakfast with "orxata" (a typical valencian
fresh drink) and "fartons" (cylinder bread sweets).
Assumption's day and Saint Roque's day:
15th and 16th.
Several popular festivals in different
residential areas around the countryside.
Fiestas de la Virgen de
Gracia (Virgin Mary of Grace)
From the friday before the first
sunday of September to the second sunday.
are the second most important festivals, after Saint Pascual Baylon
ones. Friday, a parade runs from the Virgin Mary
of Grace hermitage to the city, carrying Her image. This is a very
old tradition started in 1757. During the ten days of festivals, there
are several religious celebrations, as well as music festivals, concerts,
art exhibitions, sport competitions, and the typical bull runs "bou
per la vila" (bull run within the old village) and "bou
embolat" (fireball bull). Again the Penyes (Groups
of friends) play a main role, as in Saint Pascual festivals. The festivals
finish with another procession returning Virgin Mary image to the Hermitage.
Saint Luis Gonzaga
Third sunday of September.
The Christian association "Congregacion
de Luises" celebrates its yearly festivals of a religious type,
although with sport and cultural activities, too.
Virgin Mary of Rosary
7th of October.
The women's Christian association "Hijas
de Maria del Rosario" (Virgin Mary of Rosary's Daughters")
celebrate its day with several cultural and religious activities.
22nd of November.
This Saint is Patron of the musicians.
Therefore, around that date, the local musical associations play concerts
and do several activities in Her honour.
Sunday after the 25th of November.
This is the oldest popular fair in
the city. A market is build along the streets with hundreds of lots selling
diverse goods. This fair was authorised originally as a farmer trade fair
in the 13th century by King Jaime I of Aragon, who founded the city in
Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception
8th if December..
The nearest sundays around the 8th,
the women Christian association "Congregacion de Hijas de Maria
Inmaculada" celebrate its religious activities, complemented with
musical shows, and other cultural acts and processions around the downtown
streets. They finish with the return of the Virgin image to their social
club, procession known as "el farolet".
Francisco Tarrega International day
15th of December.
Commemoration of the great guitar
virtuoso Francisco Tarrega, in the aniversary
of his death, with exhibitions, concerts and other activites in his honour,
lead by the local music associations.
days are of a very familiar kind. The Nativity is represented with small figures "el Belen" representing the birth of Jesus, almost in each house and also in churches, although the Christmas Tree is also becoming popular in recent years. Many activities related to the Christmas
celebration are done these days. Concerts, Theater plays, and religious
acts are programmed along this time. On the 25th, all members of a family
join to celebrate a typical meal, mainly based on "paella" with
"pilotes" (meat balls). Want to try cooking