In Andalucía we don?t need any excuse to have a party, so of course we aren?t going to get left behind here in Huelva. The people in Huelva are very happy and lively and like to live life to the full.
Fiestas in Huelva.
From the beginning of the year until the very last day we give ourselves over to rejoicing leaving behind all the doom and gloom of everyday life.
On the 1st of January we celebrate the New Year with our family and friends. This festival, held in the first month of the year offers the chance to make New Year resolutions for the year to come; you won?t see many people around on this day. On the 5th of January on the other hand, the day of the ?Reyes Magos? (traditionally when Spanish children receive their presents instead of Christmas day, even though now most children get presents both days), the streets are full of people watching the parade and catching the sweets, but they do go to bed really early so as to open their presents in the morning and fill the streets with their new toys and faces full of joy.
On the 20th of January we celebrate San Sebastian, the Patron of Huelva; this festival was more popular in years gone by, with palm trees and the procession of the saint through the streets. This saint was chosen by the town, as there were 2 saints that could have taken the position; San Roque was the second one. On this day there?s always a high risk of rain, so they came up with a saying: "San Sebastian saca a las mocitas a pasear y luego se mea en el delantal", or in other words ?Saint Sebastian takes the young ones for a walk and then pees in his apron?. Since 1863 carnival is held during the month of February in our city, but it was forbidden by General Franco in 1936. From 1983, when the town requested to start celebrating the festival again, is has become more and more popular, a group competition is held in the Gran Teatro, there is a float and fancy dress parade, and festivities come to an end on ash Wednesday with the Entierro del Choco (choco burial) when we all dress up as widows and cry as we burn the great cephalopod. The most popular carnivals are those in the Isla Cristina province.
In April there is plenty of rain and Easter, that leaves a smell of incense, the pleasant features of this holiday are the music band processions, and the penitents parading with altar candles and the representation of the peaceful fight of Jesus Christ on their shoulders. On Holy Thursday and Friday true believers can?t eat meat. The festivities end on Resurrection Sunday. As an anecdote, on holy Wednesday in 1953 the Virgin de la Victoria was burnt when a candle fell on her skirt, but the next year she was restored by Antonio León Ortega, so the procession could go on.
Corpus Christie is celebrated 60 days after Resurrection Sunday. There is also a saying for this day: "Hay 3 jueves en el año que relucen más que el sol, Corpus Christie, Jueves Santo y el día de Ascensión": There are 3 Thursdays in the year that shine more than the sun; Corpus Christie, Holy Thursday and ascension day.
In May we celebrate the May Crosses; the squares are decorated with lanterns, you can see and hear ?sevillanas? in all the little tents along the different streets and we get to eat the first beans and snails of the year.
Apart from being an idyllic place, El Rocío is where the most important religious festival in all of Europe is held. Brotherhoods from all over the world come to a small village during a whole week; there can be more than a million people. Religion and festivities mix, in these houses that are owned or rented by the different groups. The best days are the Camino and Pentecost Monday, when the young men from Almonte take the Reja at dawn and walk the Queen of the Marshes around on their shoulders until midday.
On the 3rd of August we celebrate the departure of Colon to new lands. We call these festivities Las Colombinas. In the Columbian precinct you will find ?cacharritos? or huts where you can eat and drink while dancing and listening to music that delights the city during the week. The week finishes with a fire work display in the Ria (sea inlet).
In September we celebrate the day of the Patron saint of Huelva and advocate of sailors, this is held on the Hermitage plane, huts are put up as well as rides and a stage for concerts. A week before they bring the Virgin down to the Mercen Cathedral to worship her until the 8th day when she is paraded back to the hermitage bringing the festivities to an end.
And finally, In December, we celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve with our family and friends, singing and dancing at home. Come and get to know us better. As a rule we are very friendly, so you?ll feel at home in any of Huelva?s holidays and celebrations.
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