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La Encamisá
There are three different points of view about the origin of the Encamisá Feast that is held in Torrejoncillo, close to Coria city. One of this legends about the origin tells us that is the commemoration of something happened to a captain from Trorrejoncillo named Avalos who took part in Pavia battle; in order to camouflage themselves in the snow they used white sheets; coming back thanks to Mary Immaculate intercession on them.

Other version tells about the origin as the celebration of the taking of Portezuelo Castle by King Alfonso IX troops in the 13th century.

Finally, among the inhabitants of this town there is the belief that these feasts arouse as the reminder of a battle held some 7th of December and where a group of men from Torrejoncillo entrusted themselves to Mary Immaculate and covering themselves with sheets managed to save their lifes.
In the morning of the Sunday previous to the Encamisá Feast, takes place the Feast Opening Speech, that is the preamble to the great day, taking place this Sunday too the Flowers offering to the Virgin by women and girls dressed in the typical costume from Torrejoncillo.

The Encamisá day, children burn their axes and men get their horses and sheets ready, as well as the volley cartridges that will be used later on.

This historical Feast tradition has been kept since time out or mind in this town and so, year after year, hundred of horseman from the town go out covered with white sheets decorated with stars, with the Virgin image.

First of all they go to the "Mayordomo" (butler) house, so he can give them a lamplight that they must carry during the Encamisá celebration, this is a really special night for those men from Torrejoncillo that go out riding horses, just like the previous generations did.

The rest of the people gathers delighted in front of the parish church to celebrate the beginning of the procession, among an incredible amount of volley shootings and the jolly peal of the bells.

The people fervour explodes specially with loud cheerings to the Virgin when the standard shows up through the church door. The sound of the volley shootings, the bells pealing and the crowd cheering the Virgin, are moments of unforgettable and unbelievable sign of human feelings and fervour for the Virgin.

Just as it happens in other celebrations, in order to avoid that the "Mayordomo" carries with all the works and expenses of the feast, in Torrejoncillo there is an association called civic- religious-cultural association of the Encamisa Paladins, that is in charge of organize this beautiful feast in the north of Estremadura.


 

Merida Spain
The Roman Theatre and Amphitheatre

 


Navalvillar de Pela

Navalvillar de Pela tonight celebrates its traditional celebration of “the Encamisá”
16 January 2008


Also call “Race of San Antón” is the main act of the Supervisory Celebrations of San Antón Abbot, and the night of San Fulgencio is celebrated, that is to say, during the dawn of the 16 of January. Declared Celebration of Regional Tourist Interest, it is an appointment forced for all quellos that have the opportunity to attend.
The celebration starts to eight of afternoon, when with repiques of bells and roars of rockets the traditional appointment of the peleños in tonight begins.

The inhabitants of Navalvillar, next to the strangers dedicate their “alive ones” to the pattern of the locality, San Antón Abbot, guardian of the celebration, being one of the most touching moments at night. From they are left still several hours of celebration there ahead. An a horse, others in donkey and many in the infantry, celebrates tonight that usually it is extended until the dawn.

The origin of the Encamisá is the commemoration of the victory of the peleños on an Arab army when these, in their conquests by the peninsula, tried to invade the town.

The Encamisá is developed tonight during everything between an pleasant atmosphere of hospitality, to the warm heat of bonfires and accompanied by wine and biñuelos.
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Cáceres & Extremadura
Cáceres shares with many cities the privilege of being acknowledge as one of Unesco's World Heritage since 1986. The charm of this city grows from the marvellous mixture of cultures and styles that is reflected in its architecture from the Roman through the Arab, the northern Gothic and the Italian renaissance. The beautiful old quarter is one of its main attractions, surrounded by a Moorish town wall with great watchtowers.

Extremadura has plenty of places that are worthy visiting: Mérida, the capital, with its fantastic Roman ruins; Trujillo, well known for its beautiful main square and great medieval castle; Guadalupe with a magnificent Arab style monastery which houses valuable pieces of art; Plasencia, a beautiful town with a Gothic-Plateresque cathedral, and Zafra, a village full of historical remains with its majestic collegiate church and the cosy Saint Claire Convent, are just a few examples of the wide offer of the region.

The Capeas

around 14th September

There are many references that tell us about the Capeas Feast in Segura de León , that due to its geographical location always had wild cows or "spare" cows (so called in the 16th century) , calling that way the cattle that was not used for working and could be used for entertainment.

With such cattle disposal it is easy to understand that during the Feasts held to honour the Christ of the Reja in September, the people from the town fight in the main square against a good deal of heads of cattle for the enjoyment and fun of the people from the zone.

We have written news about these celebrations in Segura Main Square in the 18th century, and even in the local laws of 1877, being king Alfonso XII, are regulated the main aspects of these feasts celebration.
 

As it happened in the old days in Segura de Leon, town that belonged centuries ago to San Marcos Order, around the 14th of September are held the Capeas to honour the Christ of the Reja. The people from Segura close the main streets in order to let the cattle, that has been handed over by the farmers of the zone and that is respected all the time, run freely through them till arriving at a peculiar "bull ring" set up in the Main Square of Segura.

This bull ring remind us, by the way it is constructed, to those popular improvised bull rings that since the Middle Ages were built to hold this kind of feasts; Segura de León has been lucky enough to keep this custom alive.

The cows that arrive at the square, reddish or mottled, a bit crossbred or not, are firstly selected each day and then are freed in order to let the young and the old, the inhabitants and the visitors run behind them or even try to practise the bull fighting art, with the fun and enjoyment of the spectators, that gather in terraces cheering up all those who dare to jump into the ring.

Once the "match" is over, the cows will go back to their own livestock driven by the young people to the town outskirts where each cattle shepherd collect their cows. Everyday happens the same during the days that lasts the feast, religious services are held as well to honour the Christ of the Reja, greatly worshipped in and out Segura de Leon.

In this kind of feasts there are always musical celebrations in the night and in Segura de Leon we can enjoy as well its rich and varied gastronomy, that is very well known by the pork foodstuff as it happens in all this region.
 

Saint Isidro Pilgrimage (Fuente de Cantos

Since ancient times, it is common in agricultural towns like Fuente de Cantos, to celebrate once a year Saint Isidro Labrador Feast, patron of the farmers. In this celebration were held religious services that were culminated with the Saint procession along the town streets, sometimes the Saint was carried to the Hermitage, always placed in the town outskirts.

The feast was seized to renew the Saint Isidro Brotherhood Board of Directors. Since 1941 the Feast is celebrated in the open country, so ever since that year it is organized the Saint Isidro Pilgrimage; at the same time it was constructed an Hermitage to worship the Saint in the place known as "Martá".

Year after year, this Feast has been growing up in pilgrims not only from Fuente de Cantos but from all the neighbouring towns to this locality in the south of Estremadura.

With a strong popular character, Saint Isidro Pilgrimage in Fuente de Cantos is the most interesting demonstration of the popular coexistence in the south of the region.

The influence of the existing folklore in this southern lands so attractive and popular with the neighbouring Andalusia, all of them crossed by the historical Roman Silver Way, can be noticed in the pilgrimage nowadays, where proliferate beautiful and nice stalls set up by groups of friends, associations or families that enjoy sharing their traditional dishes and their good wines with the pilgrims friendship.

These celebrations make Saint Isidro Feast in Fuente de Cantos an open window to show the warmth and cordiality that the people from Estremadura posses, not only towards the region but towards the thousands visitors from neighbouring places like Seville, Huelva, Cordoba, Cáceres, etc., that come to know this famous pilgrimage.

At twelve o'clock in the morning is said the mass to honour the Saint, during the celebration the Saint Brotherhood sings to praise him. Many of the Brothers came riding horses from Fuente de Cantos or even in carts, crossing the waters of the Bodion River, just like hundreds of pilgrims that gather there.

Once the mass is over, Saint Isidro is carried in procession by the ground known as "La Pradera" (The Prairie), accompanied by horseman and pilgrims. At night thanks to the lighting set in "La Pradera" the celebration is extended with a crowded Popular Night Festival.

During the previous days and on the same day of the feast are held sport, gastronomical and fun contests, that contribute to show to the dwellers and the visitors the fraternity among neighbouring populations irrespective of limits or borderlines.

 

OLIVENZA

The "Entrudu", during the Carnivals days, supposes a festive moment of great attraction, both for the people from Olivenza and for the close towns. Easter in Olivenza is very interesting, due to the wonderful religious images of the Churches that can be seen during the processional parades. On Easter Sunday the popular "Pasos" (floats) are opened to be visited by everybody.

On the 15th of August take place the Fair and Feasts to honour Our Lady of Asunción.
 

MÉRIDA

Mérida's Classic Theater Festival is internationally recognized by the spectacularity of its scenes and the quality of its representations. Since 1933, in which the actress Margarita Xirgu represented "Medea", in version of Miguel de Unamuno, the Roman Theater of Mérida, Human Heritage, welcomes in the months of July and August one of the most important festivals of the European summer.

Easter is extremely attractive, thanks to the beautiful images and the route that the brotherhoods make by the city, mainly, in places like the Arc of Trajano, etc.

September Fair with thousands of visitors who look for moments of fun and entertainment in their interesting programs. Carnivals in Merida are better year after year, with the  regional appeal.

ZAFRA

Among its most significant Fairs we have to emphasize:

Regional Fair of the Lands of Extremadura and International Livestock Fair

Carried out at the splendid enclosed fairgrounds that Zafra disposes, they come to be a continuity of those medieval initial fairs in the 14th century.

National Cattle Contests attract the attendance of experts and of numerous national public as well as from Estremadura during several days.

San Miguel's Fair

It is hold during the same days as the Livestock Fair, being famous the bullfighting, which takes place in one of the most traditional bullrings of Extremadura. Wide attendance to this bull feasts as well as to the fairground, with visitors coming from all parts of Extremaura and even from the neighbouring Andalusia and Portugal

Easter

The impressive wood carved images which are in Zafra's churches and convents can be seen during these days, where Zafra's inhabitants devotion is expressed in pilgrimages of great beauty in the most close places of the city.

Quasimodo's Sunday

Takes place the first Sunday after Resurrection Sunday, in the nearby Belen Hermitage, where a lot of Zafra neighbours and devoted people from other close towns make a pilgrimage, thanking for the Virgin's intervention one day of large rains in 17th century.
 

TRUJILLO

The main one of all is the well-known one popularly like the Chíviri, that is celebrated the Domingo de Resurreccioón reuniting in the Plaza Mayor to thousand of trujillanos and visitors, declared Celebration of Regional Tourist Interest of Extremadura.

In summer, at the end of August and principles of September, the Celebrations in honor to the Pattern of the city, the Virgin of the Victory are celebrated, with festivales of music and dance and other spectacles.

Salve to the Virgin, Saturday eve of the celebrations, is sung by the assistants from the center of the Church of San Martín.

Fairs and cattle markets in Trujillo do not need (24 annual ones), in the dependencies of the Regional Market of Cattles. The National Fair of the Cheese is made in the Greater Seat at the end of April and principles of May.
 

 
LLERENA

On January 17th is held San Anton's Feast. Easter is of great beauty in the moments when the images are carried in pilgrimage through the streets and spots of Llerena, Patroness Feasts, Granada's Virgin take place from 10th to 15th of August, and the named San Miguel Fair is held at the endings of September.

Is quite interesting the "didactic pig slaughter" that is developed in March.
 

 
CORIA

Coria's Feasts schedule starts on January 20th, with St. Sebastian's Feast.

During Easter feasts outstand the Holy Friday ceremonies at the Cathedral. The second Monday at Easter takes place the traditional Crosses Monday or Rosca's Day.

The Virgen de Argeme Pilgrimage is held in May, it is carried back to her hermitage after a solemn Novenario carried out in the Cathedral. In June Corpus Christi's feast is celebrated, the one that takes place in Coria is the most popular of the region.

But without any doubt, the most important in Coria are Los Sanjuanes, declared Feast of Regional Tourist Interest, and which origins are dated in time of the Vetones, Celtic people who worshipped the bull as a sacred animal. Inside the fortified city they celebrated religious rites related to the bull and the fire, which besides coincided in dates with summer solstice, on June 24th.

As documentary testimonies is referred, The Coria Code of Laws, at the beginning of 13th century, highlights the significance of St. John's day and its relationship with cattle subjects. All of this points out the significance of bull feasts during 15th century, which in Coria were always celebrated inside the walled city and in Main Square, built in 16th century to celebrate this Coria's traditional show.


VALENCIA DE ALCÁNTARA

Around middle of May, the farmers of Cáceres countryside celebrate a feast with carriages and horse riders to honour San Isidro, with a Pilgrimage, declared Feast of Regional Tourist Interest. The 1st of My takes place "Los Mayos" and the 3rd "Las Cruces de Mayo" that are placed in all districts full of flowers and garlands.


GUADALUPE

Among the most representative celebrations of Guadalupe we have to mention:

Virgin of Guadalupe Feast, day 8 of September.
Celebration of the Corpus Christi.
Bulls: in the penultimate week of August.
Pilgrimages: during different times from the year:
In February the 3rd San Blas feast takes place and the in May the 3rd the Cross is celebrated

 CÁCERES

 Easter in Cáceres, declared of Regional Tourist Interest, is of great attractive when many of the brotherhoods cross the streets and corners of monumental Cáceres carrying their religious images

Celebrations dedicated to the city Patron, San Jorge, at the endings of April (22 and 23), welcome thousand of visitors that along with people from Cáceres, celebrate the taking of the city by Christian troops in 1229, by king Alfonso IX.

The Virgen de la Montaña Pilgrimage, sample of the devotion of Cáceres people to their Patroness, where thousands of Cacereños and visitors go together with the Virgin during the celebrations.

Around June there are Medieval Festivals, with theatre plays from Renaissance and Baroque epoches.

Womad Festival, which takes place since 1992 during the first weeks of May, gathers thousands of music and dance lovers from all around the world.
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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