Tuesday, 30 July 2013

August is one long party

One of the joys of living in Spain is the number of fiestas that you can enjoy throughout the year. The month of August is the busiest fiesta time in Jumilla, with the Feria y Fiestas de Agosto taking place between 9 and 18 August this year. I will be posting full details of the festivities on my other blog: Spain Uncovered, but I thought I would share some of the highlights here.

The opening events on Friday 9 August will start outside the Town Hall, where a rocket will be fired from the balcony at 21.00, accompanied by lively music and cheers. Following this will be the inauguration of the Fuente del Vino (yes, that does mean fountain of wine!) in the Jardín del Rey D. Pedro at 22.00. The final event of the day will be a folk evening starting at 24.00. No, that's not a typing error - this is Spain and evening events start very late!

The good news is that there will be another folk evening on Saturday 10 August, this time starting at the more civilised hour of 22.00. The even better news is that both performances are free. Earlier on Saturday, the popular mini wine fair will take place between 12.00 and 15.00. Last year we paid 3€ for a wine glass then we wandered around the stands of over a dozen bodegas, tasting some of the best Jumilla wines, with a few nibbles to stave off any hunger pangs.

The highlight on Sunday 11 August will be the grand parade of the Moors and Christians. Music, dance, drama and amazing costumes are just some of the ingredients of this spectacular event. In the past they held two separate parades, but because of the financial crisis they have had to combine the two.

Monday is children's day, with 2 x 1 on the fairground rides, a children's procession at 20.30 and free entry to the festival of youth bands, starting at 22.30. I am looking forward to the drama at 22.45 when the Moors and Christians have their annual skirmish on the Paseo. When their swords clash, sparks literally fly and young children beat a hasty retreat. Last year they even had a horse charging down the Paseo, so I can't wait to see what they will do to entertain us this year.

The procession on Tuesday 13 August is one of my favourites. The peñas (local associations) walk along the main streets of Jumilla wearing traditional costumes and carrying baskets of grapes. At 21.00 they will offer the grapes to the Nino de las Uvas, which will be followed by the customary treading of the grapes as part of the Fiesta de la Vendimia.

The Cabalgata Tradicional del Vino starts at the reasonably early time of 20.30, however it takes a long while for the floats to make their way around town as the participants hand out wine and sangria to the eager spectators. The peñas compete to create the most original float every year: I particularly liked this one.

Thursday 15 August is dedicated to the celebrations for Jumilla's patron saint, Nuestra Señora La Virgen de la Asunción. There will be a mass in Our Lady's honour in the morning, with a solemn procession at 20.00, where her statue is carried through the streets.

It looks as if we will be having a fairly late night on Friday. I always love watching the horses and carriages, which will be parading around town at 20.00, so that is a must. I have also noticed that the horseriders' peña is having a Fiesta Flamenca on the Paseo starting at 22.30, which is very tempting - especially as it's another free event!

However we will probably leave Saturday night's festivities to the youngsters, plus the young at heart with plenty of stamina. The notorious Gran Cabalgata del Vino is due to start at 19.00 and rumour has it that it continues into the early hours of the morning. The floats are piled high with red wine, which is thrown or poured over the participants, who dance through the streets all night. They do get to drink some wine too, but judging by the state of their clothes more goes over them than into them! I suspect that we will watch the procession set off then retreat to the safety of our own home, where we can drink a glass of wine in comfort.

Don't wear your best clothes!
We have decided to start the celebrations early by hosting our own fiesta this Saturday, however I'm sorry to disappoint you: it's by invitation only!


  1. Sounds like you are going into August with GUSTO! And I bet you could invite us - set up a google hangout and stream your festival live! I bet some of your blog friends would come if you invited them (except not me since this Saturday I'll myself be enjoying festivities on vacation in Mexico!)

    1. Thanks Amethyst. Enjoy yourself in Mexico and raise your glass to all our blogging friends, as will I!

  2. You actually make me feel like I am really missing out on this festival. Great that you're going to have so much of fun...also be beginning your own celebration in August. Great going!

    1. Thanks. What I love about the fiestas here is that there is something for all the family and we see all generations out there having a good time.