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lunes, 04 de diciembre de 2006

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:

JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Winter
Spring
Summer
Autum

January

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.

February

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.

March-AprilPaso of the Prye at Getsemani's field

Holy Week

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 even tuesday.

Saint Vicente Ferrer

Next weekend after Easter.

Picnics happen around the countryside, ending Saint Vicente monday, Patron of the Valencia Region.

May

San Pascual Baylon

The week comprising the 17th of May, Saint Pascual Baylon day.

Parade with traditional dancersThese 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 La Xulla(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.

June

Corpus Christi day

Religious procession carrying the gothic keeper from the Saint Jame's main church treasure.

July

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).

August

Assumption's day and Saint Roque's day:

15th and 16th.

Several popular festivals in different residential areas around the countryside.

September

Fiestas de la Virgen de Gracia (Virgin Mary of Grace)

From the friday before the first sunday of September to the second sunday.

ProcessionThese 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.

October

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.

November

Santa Cecilia

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.

Santa Catalina

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 1274.

December

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.

Nadal (Christmas)

These 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 it?


 
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