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YUNQUERA - FIESTAS

CARNIVAL. FEBRUARY

The Carnival in late February marks the beginning of the festive schedule in Yunquera. Street parades, masquerade parties and “comparsa” (traditional street musical group) competitions are held during these days, which conclude with the “burial of the sardine”, accompanied by its cortege of widows in black. When the sardine is set ablaze the firecrackers packed inside it explode and the blast is greeted with a noisy acclaim. At carnival time, the residents of Yunquera dress in their gayest clothes to celebrate this fantastic fiesta.


EASTER WEEK

This village celebrates Semana Santa (Easter Week) with great respect and fervour. Tradition goes back to the year 1648, when three of the present religious brotherhoods were already in existence, those of the Santisimo Sacramento (Holy Sacrament), Veracruz (True Cross) and Virgen del Rosario. The week starts on Palm Sunday with the popular procession of the “Pollinica”, representing Jesus riding a donkey accompanied by his faithful followers. On the night of Holy Thursday are the processions of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno (Our Father Jesus of Nazareth) and María Santísima de la Salud y Esperanza (Holy Mary of Health and Hope). On Good Friday, there is a Way of the Cross that starts at the hermitage of Cristo de la Cruz del Pobre and is made up exclusively of men. The Santo Sepulcro (Holy Burial), María Santísima de los Dolores y Vera Cruz (Holy Mary of the Sorrows and the True Cross) and Cristo de la Cruz del Pobre processions are held in the afternoon. A “meet” is staged next to the cemetery, after which the Crucified Christ remains in its chapel while the other two images are returned to the parish church.

Practically the entire village follows behind the Virgen de la Soledad (Virgin of Solitude) in the dawn hours of Good Friday. On Sunday, the image of the Resurrected Christ brings to a close Yunquera’s Holy Week, which is noteworthy for the tradition, originating in Castille, of pinning banknotes to the Virgin’s cloak or to the Nazarene’s tunic as a demonstration of gratitude for some favour that has been received.


CORPUS CHRISTI. June

One of the popular fiestas with the most local flavour in Yunquera is the Corpus. The streets and squares of the village are transformed, decorated with shawls and embroidery, arches of ferns and palms, and carpets of marjoram, to welcome the procession and fill the village with the atmosphere of the Sierra. The many altars display an image of the Lord that is generally adorned with flowers and candles. When the procession passes by the altars a prayer is said and flower petals are showered on the monstrance. The procession ends in front of a large altar in the village square.


SAN JUAN. 24th JUNE

The eve of the day of San Juan (St. John), 23rd June, is known in Yunquera as the fiesta of the “Juanes”. This is one of the few places where this celebration has a religious element, as richly adorned altars are set up in the streets, with plants, quilts, potted plants and even dolls arranged around a framed image of a saint. This activity is, naturally, carried out in conjunction with a large verbena (traditional street party) and with the burning of an effigy that has had firecrackers placed inside it beforehand so that the spectacle will not go unnoticed.


PILGRIMAGE OF PORTICATE. 15TH AUGUST

On the 16h July the village celebrates what is known as the “Transfer”. This consists of a procession bringing the Virgen del Carmen (Virgin of Mount Carmel) from the Porticate hermitage (the Virgen Chiquita de Porticate, or Small Virgin of Porticate) to the village and the Virgen del Carmen Grande (Large Virgin of Mountain Carmel) being carried in a procession from her church to Porticate. Each image remains one month in its temporary location.

Once her one-month stay in the village is completed, the Virgen Chiquita is returned to Porticate on 15th August, on this occasion in a pilgrimage. This day is a deep-rooted tradition in the heart of all the inhabitants of Yunquera, celebrated to give thanks to the Virgen del Carmen for safely bringing home the seasonal workers who, long ago, left each year to work a way from the village. At the halfway point of the route, bunches of grapes are placed in the Virgin’s hands and a jasmine garland around her neck. When the pilgrims arrive at Porticate, everyone partakes of a meal and at nightfall, the Virgin is brought back to the village in a procession, accompanies by her faithful followers.


FAIR OF OUR NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL ROSARIO (OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY) AND SAN SEBASTIAN

The origin of this fair is in the end of the harvesting when, once again, the seasonal workers returned from the grape harvest in Cadiz. Some of the locality’s most ancient customs are recalled, such as the offering of grapes to the patron saint. With the devotional duties complied with, a small grape-treading session held on the village square in which anyone who wishes can participate. The Dawn Rosary is also celebrated on that day. Beginning at seven in the morning the women, primarily, join together and go through the village streets praying. Afterwards there is a breakfast in the square with churros, typical Yunquera “mochetes” with oil and lard, sweets and chocolate.

 

 

 

Association for the Rural Development of Sierra de las Nieves

Edificio Sierra de las Nieves, Paraje de Río Grande-Las Millanas, s/n - 29109- Tolox (Málaga) - Phone: 952 48 28 21 - Fax: 952 48 29 44

Email: agdr@sierranieves.com