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The festive calendar of Las Alpujarras covers the whole year, starting from the Semana Santa (Easter) carrying on through the summer and autumn with the ferias (funfairs), and then to Christmas and the Reyes Magos (Epiphany) on the 6th of January. Here in Spain, this latter is a more exciting celebration than Christmas, with the processions and the floats of the three kings throwing sweets and toys to the crowds lining the streets. It is also the day the Spanish exchange gifts.
Each village celebrates its patron saintâ€™s day with a religious theme, and most villages have their funfair or feria, normally a non-religious occasion. Whichever it may be, these celebrations are always noisy affairs with plenty of fireworks, mostly the rocket type that blow your ears away. However, in recent years the firework displays have become popular, some very sophisticated.
There are villages that have become known for certain fiestas and they attract numerous crowds. TorvizcĂłn celebrates the day of its patron saint, San AntĂłn Abad, in January with bonfires often dangerously lit in the narrow alleys below the houses. TrevĂ©lez celebrates San Antonio in June when they enact a fight between the Christians and the Moors, but the best of these fights simply called Moros y Cristianos takes place in VĂˇlor, the birthplace of AbĂ©n Humeya who was crowned king of the Moriscos in CĂˇdiar. The most fun feria is that celebrated in LanjarĂłn, known as the â€śferia del agua y del jamĂłnâ€ť in June on the day of San Juan, when for an hour, between midnight and 1am water from balconies, windows, hoses in the street, is directed at everyone in sight whilst the crowd shouts joyfully â€śagua, agua, mucha aguaâ€ť thus demanding more water to be thrown at them. It is said that a girl that gets it splashed on her face will have a beautiful one all year.
There are also numerous pilgrimages, most famous the one that ends up at Virgen de las Nieves, on the peak of El MulhacĂ©n where the Ermita (Shrine) is found. The end of the grape harvest in CĂˇdiar, is celebrated in a festival known as â€śfestival fuente del vinoâ€ť where they have a public fountain from which the local wine of the Contraviesa region, known as vino de la tierra of vino Costa, runs continuously for anyone to drink.
One of La Alpujarraâ€™s most unusual and interesting customs is â€śel trovoâ€ť; a duel in which the â€ścombatantsâ€ť sing spontaneous verses at their opponents, with the accompaniment of music and dancing.
In 1982, in order to preserve the local traditional songs and musical instruments, a yearly festival was set up. This, to takes place in a different town or village of Las Alpujarras during the first 2 weeks of each August.
Pampaneira holds a craftâ€™s market all weekends on its church square known as Plaza de la Libertad as well as a popular annual crafts fair in mid September. Another very popular yearly event called Hecho en La Alpujarra, is held in Orgiva. This is an art, craft and food trade fair, initiated by the Ayuntamiento in collaboration with the Office, of Tourism for products exclusively made in Las Alpujarras. It coincides with the end of the Semana Santa (Easter)
Moors and Christians
The Moors and Christians fiestas are celebrated throughout the district, the most popular taking place in VĂˇlor, birthplace of Abâ€™n Humeya who was crowned king of the Moriscos in CĂˇdiar.