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Most unsual Andalucian festivals in September

September 1, 2017 – 6:47 pm

Guest post: Andrés Lopez Sheridan

Andalucía is well known for its authentic and traditional parties and celebrations. If you thought everything was over after the high summer season season, think again – Welcome to September!

Cascamorras Festival
Cascamorras Festival ©Michelle Chaplow

I have just discovered one of the coolest celebrations that takes place in Andalucía, yet it’s surprisingly unknown outside of Granada. Cascamorras has everything to become a mainstream festival; I can already imagine the towns of Baza and Guadix flooded with hundreds of tourists coming to get completely drenched in ecological paint.
The story says that Juan Pedernal, a workman from Guadix, found a holy image of a virgin while working the field in Baza. He tried to take it back to his hometown but Baza claimed it as their own. It was decided that the statue would stay in Baza but it would be taken to Guadix for just one day. When Juan Pedernal, also known as Cascamorras, attempted to take it back to Guadix he got literally whacked out of town. The poor man was also beaten up by his fellow countrymen again, when he came back empty handed. Today, if the Cascamorras (a person picked yearly from Guadix) remains clean and reaches the virgin that is kept in the church in Baza after being attacked by the whole town with black oil, he will be able to take the sacred statue back with him.

Sound impossible? That’s because it is. And the story doesn’t finish just there as the chosen Cascamorras still has to return to his hometown. Three days later the party relocates to Guadix where, when the Cascamorras arrives empty handed, the locals decide to punish him by covering him and themselves with coloured paint.
Feel like ruining your clothes and joining in on this splashy festival? The Cascamorras festival takes place between Guadix and Baza in the region of Granada during the 5th to the 9th of September.

For a personal account of experiencing this festival, see this article on last year’s event.

Fiesta de la Vendimia or The Harvest Festival
Grape Harvest Festival Jerez

Among the famous Vendimia Festivals in Spain, it’s impossible not to mention the Grape Harvest Festival of Jerez de la Frontera, which celebrates one of the most important harvest festivals in Spain. These are the very same grapes used to make its internationally recognized sherry. During the first two weeks of September Jerez pays tribute to its wine and the people that make it. The treading of the grapes, ‘Pisa de la Uva,’ is celebrated in front of the Cathedral.

It is the most important and iconic moment of the festivity. It’s an homage to those who work the land of Jerez to produce one of the most important wines of the world. At the end of the treading, they offer a glass of fino (dry sherry) to the attendees. The Vendimia Festival of Jerez includes plenty of other activities during the two weeks of festival, such as different wine tastings, wine pairings with Andalucian gastronomic delicatessen and concerts that take place all over the city.
Want to try one of Spain’s most famous exports? The Fiesta de la Vendimia in Jerez takes place during the first two weeks of September.

Festival de la Luna Mora
Luna Mora Festival in Guaro. Pic courtesy of Guaro Town Hall

The village of Guaro represents that classical image that comes to your head when you think of an Andalucian white village. This small town is located very close to the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park. During this festival, this village takes you back in time five centuries. Merchants sell their handcrafted products in the towns market, Arab-Andalucian-Sephardic melodies echo through the small streets all the way to the main square, and all under the sole light of 20.000 candles that transforms this beautiful village into a magical experience. Snap some photos at this beautiful feria and you can easily boost your Instagram followers. #candles #andalucia #lunamora #comeonbabylightmyfire
The atmosphere at Guaro’s Luna Mora Festival is completed with other activities for adults, romantic couples or youngsters such as concerts, workshops, street performances, parades or storytellers. This spectacular festival takes place during the first week of September in Guaro, Málaga.
As you can see staying home in September is not an option! Get out there and let me know what your favourite September festival is!

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