August 19, 2016

Festivals

The familiar, multiple and varied festivals in Segorbe are deeply rooted through the centuries.

The Festival of Saint Anthony the Abbot is celebrated in the second fortnight of January and includes events such as the traditional bonfire and the blessing of animals, dressage, sports competitions, cattle exhibitions, festivities, etc.

Especial mention has to be made to the traditional Corpus Christi Procession which takes place in early June, with the parade of the figures roughly known as «Giants and Big-Heads» (giants and figures with huge heads).

The Festival of Villatorcas is held in July. The residents of this small village near Segorbe organise different events and celebrations.

Festivals dedicated to Saint Christopher take place in the nearest weekend to the 10th July, with the traditional «cucañas», hot chocolate and buns, and fraternity dinners. A Mass is held in the Cathedral and cards bearing religious pictures are given among those present.

Festivals dedicated to the Guardian Angel take place in early August. These familiar and popular festivals have been recovered in this historical quarter of Segorbe. The Guardian Angel and the Immaculate Conception both are Patron Saints of Segorbe.

Festivals of Peñalba are held around the middle of August. These festivals gather all and sundry and celebrate many religious and traditional events, such as open-air dances, cattle exhibition, art exhibitions and family afternoon snacks.

The Patron Saint’s Festivals begin on the last Saturday of August. The first week of this festive fortnight is held in honour of the Virgin and dedicated to the Virgin of Hope, Virgin of Loreto and Virgin of the Holy Cave. These are extraordinary festivals declared of National Tourist Interest. Special mention should be made to the Presentation of the Queens of the Festivals; the traditional and popular offering to Our Lady of the Holy Cave; the pilgrimage to the chapel of Our Lady of Hope; the Belt Race and the traditional «Enramada» parade; the magnificent firework display; the competition and art exhibition «José Camarón»; and pop, rock, folk and classical music concerts.

During the Week of Bulls which takes place in the second festive week, the city attracts thousands of people to witness a stunning show: the Bulls and Horses Droving of Segorbe. In the crowded «Entrada» (Entry), tradition blends with history. Its first documentary evidence dates back to the 14th century, and still preserves all the essence bestowed on it by its creators. A crowd of people forming a human wall along the route witness the thrill and risk of this impressive exhibition in which the herd of bulls is surrounded and guided through Colón Street by thirteen skilled and courageous horsemen.

The Bull and Horse Droving was declared of Tourist Interest in 1985 and, due to the fact that its prestige and fame had spread through the country and beyond its borders, it was declared of International Tourist Interest in 2005, 20 years later.

The Entry also has a monument erected in the Obispo Ahedo Square, by the renowned sculptor, Manuel Rodríguez Váquez.

The Fiesta unites afternoons and evenings; nights and days; young bull fighting and fire bulls; fire bulls and open-air dancing; welcoming visitors into a magical and captivating atmosphere.

In spite of the events taking place during this busy week, we will still find time in which to regain strength in the well-known Handmade Ham and Sausage Festival of Segorbe, organised by the Segorbe Handmade Sausage and Ham Association.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Cave takes place on the first Saturday of October. The Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Holy Cave, located 14 km from Segorbe, is the destination of thousands of pilgrims that each year come to visit the Patron Saint of the Diocese and take part in an impressive evening procession.

Every 22nd November, Festivals in honour of Saint Cecilia transform Segorbe for a few days into a city of culture devoted to music. Festivities are organised by the Ladies of Saint Cecilia Association, and the Musical Association of Segorbe in charge of many events related to music.

Although the festivity of La Purísima is the 8th December, the festival goes on for several days. Segorbe is decked out with a grand Fair that occupies large part of the city centre. Visitors will enjoy shopping in the hundreds of stalls set up for the occasion; trying their luck in the raffles; and maybe increasing their level of adrenaline in the many attractions of the fairground.

The Medieval Market takes place in the second weekend of May, when Segorbe takes us back to the past recreating the atmosphere and traditions of yesteryear; offering us traditional local products, children’s workshops and many performances with birds of prey, snakes, jesters, harpies and medieval music that will captivate us as we stroll around.

In 1265, King James I establishes Colón Street as the location of the market and Thursday as the weekly market day.

The festival of the Bull and Horse Droving, whose origin dates back to the 14th century, takes place during the second week of September, at 2 p.m. every day during the week (Monday to Sunday).

It is a very fast race that barely lasts a minute. Six bulls and almost a dozen horses guided by expert horsemen take part in the race. The horsemen guide the bulls along the main street of the city, Colón Street, crowed with people eager to see the herd passing by. Without barriers in the adjacent streets, the crowds of people in the street open and close the way of the herd, creating a magical and unique spectacle in the world. No wonder the Bull and Horse Droving of Segorbe has been declared of International Tourist Interest.