Whilst it’s true that there are fiestas and festivities in Spain throughout the year, I always feel that it’s the month of May that really kicks off the party season!
The Romería de San Isidro takes place on 15th May each year, in honour of Isidro, a farm labourer who, according to legend, received divine assistance to perform his work and was known for his goodness toward the poor and animals. As a result he has become the patron saint of farm workers and other labourers in many Spanish-speaking countries.
San Isidro is also the patron saint of Nerja, so this is one of the biggest fiestas of the year to be held in the town.
The festivities begin with a service at the church of El Salvador on the Balcón de Europa, before the effigy of the saint, (which normally resides at the Caves of Nerja), is taken back to the Hermitage of San Isidro in Maro.
The spectacular procession to accompany the Saint normally takes more than three hours and is a fantastic opportunity to see the many decorated carts, Andalucían thoroughbred horses, traditional costumes and pairs of magnificent oxen pulling beautifully adorned carts, including the one carrying the statue of San Isidro, himself.
What was of particular interest to me this year, were the beautiful dresses worn by many of the ladies.
I noticed that as well as the traditional Spanish dresses, many of the younger women were wearing much shorter “flamenco-type” dresses with flat boots.
I love the elegant, longer dresses – but which do you prefer?
Anyway – back to the procession!
On arrival at the Caves of Nerja the celebrations really begin, with families and friends sharing picnics, paella, BBQs and, of course, plenty of wine and beer. This is followed by singing and dancing amongst the thousands of revellers until late into the night.
San Isidro is one of the best festivals of the year – vibrant, colourful and great fun. It usually heralds the start of good weather for the summer, as many locals say that the summer starts on 15th May!
Which is your favourite Spanish festival or fiesta?