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The Best Holidays in Spain

Castilla y León

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 Castilla y León
Castilla Leon Holidays
- Avila, Burgos, Leon, Salamanca, Segovia, Valladolid and Zamora

Castilla & Leon is the largest region in Spain located between the north of Madrid, Portugal, Aragon and the Costa Verde. Many visitors approach this region from Madrid and its International Airport as many of the major cities in the region can be reached from motorways leaving the capital of Spain. However, good road access can also be found from the North coast via roads to Burgos and Leon. In total, Castilla Leon has nine provinces that are Avila, Burgos, Leon, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora.

Castilla Leon Holiday Attractions
The main attraction for visitors to the region of Castilla Leon is the high number of historical buildings, many in near perfect condition, that have been left as a result of the many conquests by the Romans, Celts and the Moors. Many of the major cities boast some of the best cathedrals, churches and castles found not only in Spain but also in Europe for architectural design. Castilla is the land of castles and they can be found in virtually every corner of the region.

 Avila is Spain's highest provincial capital and it is also entirely enclosed by the most complete set of medieval walls in Europe. With a total of 88 towers and 9 gateways, the walls stretch for a total of 2km in length. In Spanish, the walls are called Las Murallas and were originally built by the Christian Knights after the re-conquest of the city from the Moorish settlers.

The Gothic Cathedral in Burgos is the city's most splendid sight and is the third largest in Spain behind those in Seville and Toledo. Founded in 1221, the cathedral's construction continued over 300 years involving some of the best architects in Europe. As well as being a fantastic example of gothic architecture, it is also one of the main stopovers for Pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela where according to legend, the body of Saint James; one of Christ's apostles was discovered in the year of 813.

 Leon is a cosmopolitan city with a relaxing ambiance that makes it ideal for visitors to Spain who wish to see a wonderful mix of the historic and modern. The Gothic Cathedral in the centre of the city began construction in the 13th century and is one of the finest in Europe. Some of its outstanding features include 700 panes of stained glass used in its construction, and an unusual design of mismatched towers.

The city of Salamanca is probably best known for its University, which was founded in the 13th century and is the oldest in Spain. At any time of day you can see hundreds of students wandering around this wonderful ancient city and enjoying the many bars and restaurants well into the early hours. The best way to see Salamanca is on foot and the best place to start is the Plaza Mayor, which is one of the largest and best in Spain. The plaza is an 18th century baroque square, whose street level arcades, cafes and bars support 3 more storeys with the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) and Royal Pavilion at opposite ends to each other.

There are two main features in Segovia that cannot be ignored as you enter the city. One is the two-tiered Roman Aqueduct that can be seen all across the city suburbs and is considered to be one of the finest in Europe. The other is the Alcazar, Segovia's fairytale royal castle, which stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. It has everything a castle should have including spires, battlements and exquisite chambers. It is well worth climbing the 152 steps to the top of the castle for some excellent views over the whole city.

Valladolid is the capital of Castilla & Leon, and a city full of historic and cultural attractions including a cathedral, churches, sculptures and museums. There is plenty to see in Valladolid and also many castles to be found in the surrounding area.

The great Cathedral of Zamora was built in the 12th Century and includes certain Gothic additions that were added at a later date. The roof of the cathedral is layered with curved stone tiles and modelled on the Haghia Sophia in Istanbul. Around the cathedral in the streets of Zamora are plenty of Romanesque churches to visit at leisure with many bars and restaurants nearby to admire their facades.

A fiesta is one of the most enjoyable ways people show their culture. Its popular feeling, its strong anthropological roots and its marked religious traits are the hallmarks of these public celebrations that take place in every town and village, no matter how small.
Castilla y León, profoundly rooted in Western civilisation, keeps these fiestas alive in a multicolour mosaic of religion led by patrons, saints and dedications. Alongside them is the pagan world, alive in the carnivals and outlandish characters of pre-Roman times. Bullfighting and traditional gastronomy are part and parcel of these fiestas.
In Castilla y León the Easter week religious celebrations are particularly important because they bring with them a simultaneous outpouring of popular joy and extraordinary open-air museums. Immense statues and colourful mass processions are the result.
The passing of the seasons, the harvests, the calendar of saints' days and the commemoration of historical events provide a range of cultural activities that seems to go from strength to strength as time goes by. Fiestas where the visitor is treated as one more piece in the puzzle, a trait that demonstrates the hospitality and openness of the people of Castilla y León.

Bajada de Jesús Nazareno
The first Sunday of September
The village of Almazán in Soria holds the Bajada de Jesús Nazareno (the return of Jesus of Nazareth) as part of its patron saint celebrations, on the first Sunday of September. The festival has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
The festival is celebrated by the villagers with a night-time procession which bears the patron saint Jesús Nazareno from the parish church of Nuestra Señora del Campanario, where he has been for nine days, to the hermitage where he will remain for the rest of the year.
The parade leaves the parish church, and just as it arrives at the corner of the square all the lights are turned out. As it passes the square, fireworks and explosions go off, but the cheers of the villagers in bidding farewell to their patron saint make more noise than the noise of the fireworks. Once the noise has calmed down, the procession continues to the Ermita de Jesús Nazareno, where there are floral offerings waiting. All the villagers pass by the church to leave a flower at the feat of the saint to bid him farewell until the following year, a custom that goes back to Castilian tradition of the 17th century.
Province: Soria

Bajada del Angel
Bajada del Ángel, Peñafiel
The Sunday of the Resurrection.
A globe descends on a thick rope to hang over the head of the Virgin. When it opens a child dressed as an angel comes out and takes away the black cloth covering the face of the Vigin, while a dove is released. Then the child is hoisted up, moving its arms and wings as though flying.
Then the Virgin continues on the way to meet Christ in the Eucharist, el Santísimo.

Province: Valladolid

The carnival is one of the most famous festivals of Castilla y León and is celebrated in the village of Toro, in Zamora. It has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. Right from the start on the Friday night until Entierro de la Sardina (the burial of the sardine), the sound of the street bands can be heard singing criticisms of current politics and society.
The traditional wedding, on Domingo Gordo (the main Sunday), is a unique custom not to be seen anywhere else in Spain. The men and women of the town dress up in typical costumes to simulate the marriage between Don Carnal and Doña Cuaresma.
The Monday is dedicated to the children of the village, and the adults rejoin the celebrations on Martes de Carnaval (Carnival Tuesday), when there is an impressive parade full of lights and colours, a spectacular show that passes through the streets of the village. Miércoles de Ceniza (Ash Wednesday) brings the comic funeral procession, the Burial of the Sardine, and a great feast of sardines with which to bid farewell to Don Carnal until the following year.

Holy Week in Astorga
La Entrada de Jesús en Jerusalen, Astorga The Semana Santa (Holy Week) of Astorga, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, features the event of the Desenclavamiento (taking down) of an image of Christ, of great historical value, in the Procesión del Santo Entierro (the procession of the holy burial) on Good Friday. In the early morning the fraternity of la Vera Cruz leave their chapel and carry the image on a stretcher to the Capilla de San Esteban, where in an act reserved for the brothers, the image is nailed to the cross, and the following day it is deposited in an urn.
This fraternity is one of the oldest and dates back to the 15th century. The tradition of the commemoration of Holy Week, and the villagers' participation in the celebrations, are centuries old.
During the days of the Holy Week celebrations, the fraternities' processions consist of images of great artistic, cultural and traditional value. Among the impressive works are two that are preserved from the original processions: the Crucificado (Christ crucified) of 1560, which is on show in the Good Friday procession, and the image of Cristo flagelado (Christ flogged).
Apart from the images, the participation of the musical bands is notable. There are currently four Holy Week bands.One in particular is Los Morlas, formed by two trumpeters and a bass drum. They take part in processions such as la Santa Cena (the holy supper), el Silencio (the silent procession), and el Encuentro (the meeting).The Banda Municipal of Astorga has also taken part in the processions since the 19th century.
The Holy Week tradition in Astorga is kept young by the participation of the young people in the fraternities, who participate in the restoration and creation of new floats, thereby contributing their influence to the villages of the area.
Homage to San Pedro Bautista
5 and 11 of February and 7 and 8 of July
Four times a year the inhabitants of San Esteban del Valle, a village in the valley of El Barraco, in the middle of the Sierra de Gredos, take to the streets to celebrate in the honour of Saint Peter the Baptist a festival that as a result of its long tradition and history has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
Since the 17th century, tradition goes that as the evening falls, the bells of the parish church and the Santo chapel call the townspeople to the Plaza de San Pedro Bautista (Saint Peter the Baptist). From there horseback riders and people on foot form a procession in honour of the Saint to cheer and give thanks. Accompanied by torches to light the way, the procession proclaims the life of Saint Peter the Baptist, who was crucified in the Japanese city of Nagasaki at two o'clock in the afternoon, in 1597. Before being crucified, however, the saint had time to stop the outbreak of war between Japan and Spain, when the emperor Taikosama attempted to take the Philippines from Spain in the reign of Philip II.
The procession follows the first horseman, who leads the cheering and bears the image of the Saint, and who is always accompanied by two more horsemen carrying burning lanterns. On arrival at the house of the saint's birth, the last event of the night is an auction for the honour of fixing the saint's image on the front of the house, in memory of the townsman who died on the cross at the hands of the people of Nippon.

La Fiesta de la Tabera
Tuesday before Ascension Day
 La Fiesta de la Tabera (the Knucklestones Festival), which is celebrated on the Tuesday before Ascension Day, originates from the rogations that are still made as they have been made for centuries in honour of Saint Casilda, who with the arrival of spring protects the fields. It also serves to revive the voting ritual that Briviesca town council established to honour the saint.
The pilgrimage, which consists of a procession and a mass, is held in the Santuario de Santa Casilda (the Sanctuary of Saint Casilda), eleven kilometres away from the Burgos village of Briviesca. It has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
After the religious ceremonies there is a massive feast: a huge paella for which each person must have a symbolic voucher.
As tradition holds, after the feasting the town authorities initiate the game of Taba (knucklestones), with betting that was once in silver pesetas and is now in euros, and the game is played throughout the village in all the bars. Not even the prohibition that Franco imposed on games of chance succeeded in stopping the Tabera festival, which sprang up again and again until now it remains an imprinted tradition.
Province: Burgos
Nuestra Señora del Rosario, the Bull-Runs.
The last Sunday of August
The location for one of the oldest bull-run festivals in all of Spain is the city of Cuéllar in the province of Segovia. The deep-rooted tradition and popularity of the festival have earned it the recognition of being declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. The celebrations of the bull-runs of Nuestra Señora del Rosario are held during the festival of the patron saint, but the most popular day is the last Sunday of August, when five bull-runs take place in the streets of the city.
At 7.50 in the morning people are already waiting excitedly for the releasing of the bulls. The first stretch runs form the area of the bullpens to the edge of the pinewoods, from where the horsemen will then drive the bulls to the bullring. This run takes about an hour and a half. After crossing the pine grove, the horsemen walk the bulls to a resting place, where both the bulls and the men can take a pause.
Now comes the most complicated stretch, the bottleneck, where the mountains finish and the road begins. By this time it is about 9.30, and the urban circuit begins. The bulls are driven through the streets of Cuéllar until they arrive at Los Paseos, where the bullring is located.
The run can take up to an hour and a half. While the men are herding the bulls around the countryside, the people of the town wait impatiently for them to enter the city. To pass the time, they dance the traditional dance of the wheel, and sing a song called "A por ellos!" (After them!) that is known as the hymn of the town, and has a great sentiment attached to it. Even more so, if possible, at the end of the festivities on Saturday at 7.00 in the afternoon, when the final announcements are given to an overflowing Plaza Mayor, and the town ends the festival by bursting into song when the announcer shouts "after them!". This is when the partying really begins.
Province: Segovia

The Baptism of the Baby Jesus
The first day of January
The Bautizo del Niño (The Baptism of the Baby Jesus) is one of the most popular festivals of the Palencian capital, and has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. Every year on the first day of January more than 2,000 people from the area and many tourists visiting the city, assemble in the Church of San Miguel to sing a traditional Palencian carol to the baby Jesus.
The origin of this ceremony dates back to the 16th century, when the Cofradía del Dulce Nombre de Jesús (Fraternity of the Sweet Name of Jesus) was formed in the Jewish quarter of Palencia, which was between the Church of San Miguel and the cathedral. The fraternity has Italian origins, and on this day it celebrates the Circumcision. Today, during the ceremony the baby is rocked to the sound of the carol, then taken out in procession.
At the end of the procession, the faithful followers approach the house opposite the church and the ceremony is closed with the traditional throwing of sweets and coins by the godmothers.
Province: Palencia

The Civic procession of el Vítor

27th of September

Procesión Cívica de El Vítor The Procesión Cívica de El Vítor has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and is held each 27th of September in the village of Mayorga de Campos, in Valladolid. The procession is a little strange, as all the villagers dress up in old clothes and cover their heads. The celebration starts at about 10 o'clock at night, when the villagers burn leather wineskins that are hung from poles. From this point on, between the songs of worship, the cloud of smoke, the fire and the smell of burnt fish pays homage to Santo Toribio, a missionary native to the village who was canonised in the 18th century. These acts of devotion are held in memory of the day that the villagers received the remains of the saint, in whose name the people went into the streets with flaming torches and lanterns.

One of the most impressive moments is at the arrival of the procession to the Plaza Mayor, where there is a firework display. Part of the display makes the image of Santo Toribio, when all the people kneel to sing the hymn to the saint.

The celebrations of the The Procesión Cívica de El Vítor are brought to a close at about four o'clock in the morning in the hermitage of the saint with the singing of hymns. These celebrations take place in the middle of the festival of the patron saint, where the bulls play a large part, which in one way is relevant because the saint performed a miracle with a bull.

Province: Valladolid
The Day of the Carrion Fountains and the Palencian Mountain
The third Sunday of July
Preparación de la borra para la degustación de la caldereta o guiso del pastor El Día de Fuentes Carrionas y La Montaña Palentina is a mountain celebration that is held on the third Sunday of July in Velilla del Río Carrión, and has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. The festivities take place at a magnificent spot by the Agudín bridge, near to Cardaño de Abajo, and the festival revolves around the cooking of mutton, where traditional mutton stews are served to all those who attend.
More than twenty stews are prepared using approximately 400 kilos of meat, and served by the people of the festival to all the guests, along with rashers of bacon, sweet biscuits and wine.
Province: Palencia

The Festival of Exaltation of the Botillo
Botillo del Bierzo In February (the exact date depends on Holy Week), in Bembibre, León, the National Festival of Exaltation of the Botillo (a traditional cured pork sausage) is held. In 1973, the celebrations of the Salida del Santo, a procession that takes place every seven years and in which the townspeople carry the Ecce Homo (the image of Christ wearing a crown of thorns) from the shrine to the parish church, spawned this festival for the feasting of this sausage typical of the area of Bierzo. During this week all the restaurants include the botillo on the menu, offered by many local producers.
The main day of the festivities is a Saturday, but from the Friday to the Sunday there are displays and tastings of typical foods, giving the opportunity to taste the sausage accompanied by other local produce: seasoned meats, chestnuts, honeys, cheeses, orujos (pressed grapes) and wines from the area. The Festival is also preceded by a cultural week.
The Festival has been celebrated for more than thirty years and has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. It attracts people from within the area and from outside the province, many for the public feast, to which 1,200 tickets are available for the guests to sit down and enjoy the wide range of the area's typical produce.
The festival of la Patrona Virgen de la Veguilla
The Monday after Easter Monday.
The celebrations remember the tradition of demanding the bull from the authorities of Toro Enmaromado.
All the villagers gather in front of the council building shouting "¡Toro, toro, toro! " ("Bull! Bull! Bull!"), and the mayor stands on the balcony and makes the presentation of the bulls and other young bulls for the festival.
The Festival of La Ronda and la Procesión de los Pasos
Night of Thursday and Maundy Friday
On Maundy Thursday at exactly midnight, the brothers of Jesús Nazareno (Jesus of Nazareth), lead by their abbot and the association of la Junta de Seises, go with those that form "La Ronda" to proceed through the streets of the city during the whole night and announce the Procesión de los Pasos before the authorities.
The silence of the León night is broken by the call of bells, bugle and drums, which is answered by one of the brothers with: "LEVANTAOS HERMANITOS DE JESUS, QUE YA ES HORA" ("RISE, BROTHERS OF JESUS, THE HOUR IS NIGH").
At 7.30am on Good Friday the Procesión de los Pasos leaves, bearing 13 images on the shoulders of its participants. The images of San Juan and the Virgin Mary meet in the Plaza Mayor.
The Festival of las Cabezadas
 The last Sunday of April.
Celebración The festival is a joint festival between the town authorities and the local religious chapter.
Observaciones Tradition of the 12th century.
Cabezadas: after a debate or a discussion between the representatives of the town authorities and those of the Cabildo (Chapter) de San Isidoro, the representatives of the municipal Corporación (Corporation) bow their heads three times to the Cabildo.
Offering to San Isidoro of a heavy candle and four wax hatchets, in thanks for ending the drought.
The municipal Corporación leave the town hall and head for the Basílica de San Isidoro.
The entourage is usually presided over by a town councillor who carries the royal standard, and accompanied by the macebearers and the municipal guard in full uniform. The band play the hymn of León.
At the doors of the Basílica de San Isidoro they are received by the Cabildo. They go into the cloister where they make the offering to the Cabildo in the name of the Corporación.
A debate is started about whether the offering is voluntary or compulsory. Both sides defend their opinion with intelligence and historical facts.
The discussion always finishes in stalemate.
Afterwards the handing over of the candle is performed.
Localidad: LEON
The Festival of los Jefes
 Last saturday of january
Celebración Representation of the feat of the silenses aginst the attack of the moores. Loud music, street parades, Las Crestas, San Antón horse racing, torchlit races around the village by the teenagers, castilian mass and Accion de Gracias mass
The Festival of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
15 and 16 of August
Once a year, in the village of La Alberca, in the province of Salamanca, the traditional festival of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción is held, which has been declared of national tourist interest. The colourful offerings and the praise to the Virgin are the main themes of the celebrations.
On 15th until 11.30 am, the townspeople assemble, dressed in traditional costumes, particularly popular is the typical peasant woman, and there is music and dancing in front of the Virgin, whose image is placed in the Plaza Mayor so she may observe the celebrations and the offerings. The families and the foremen make their offerings to Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. The men must touch one knee to the ground in a sign of devotion three times before and after making their offering. The colours and variety of the costumes are the most impressive part of the festivities, in which each individual piece has its meaning, from the buttons to the earrings to the hairclips. The festivities of the day are concluded with lively traditional and folk dancing.
The 16th is the day of giving praise, a sacred act which the citizens of Alberca carry out themselves and which lasts an hour. The central characters of the celebrations of praise are the funny figure and the demonic figure, a grotesque caricature who rides a dragon and who will end up losing in battle to the archangel San Miguel.
The Festival of Saint John the Baptist
Following sunday to the 24 of June
The festival of Saint John the Baptist, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, takes place every year in the village of Baños de Cerrato in Palencia, and coincides with the festivities in honour of the patron saint.
These celebrations are of a very religious character, and consist of a Mozarabic mass presided by the bishop of Palencia or a person delegated by him. For the occasion all the texts and music of the Hispanic-Visigoth-Mozarab rites are collected, to be appreciated by all the guests in the incredible setting of the Basilica of San Juan de Baños, a Visigoth building of the 7th century. The construction of the basilica was ordered by the Gothic King of Toledo, Recesvinto, who thanks to the waters of the nearby fountain was cured of an illness.
Province: Palencia
The Festival of San Froilan
Fechas 5th October (San Froilán).
Celebración Parade of pendones (historic flags) from different parts of the province. Procession of decorated carriages pulled by oxen or groups of horses. Competition of the carriages.
Observaciones These festivities also include the Cantaderas or the traditional celebration of Foro or Oferta , when the civil authorities discuss homage to the city.
The cantaderas are young people dressed in the style of Moores.
Other events: concerts, regional dances, fair, traditional Leon wrestling, children's fishing activities, skittles championships..
Tasting of traditional sausages and chorizos of San Froilán
The Festival of San Juan del Monte
Monday of Pentecostés
The Festival of San Juan del Monte (Saint John of the Mountain), which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, starts on the first weekend fifty days after Whit Sunday. The origins of the festival date back to the Middle Ages, and the people of the Burgos village of Miranda de Ebro celebrate the festival, which is organised by the Fraternity of San Juan del Monte.
The main day is the Monday, when starting at nine o'clock in the morning, all the villagers follow in procession to San Juan, a place in the mountains five kilometres from the village where a hermitage has been built in honour of the saint. More than 15,000 people accompany the saint, who is carried in a cart pulled by a donkey. In the hermitage mass is given, and afterwards on the mountain of La Laguna, the different groups of organisers -70 at this point in time- and everybody who has attended the procession has a festive meal that breaks the year-long silence of the mountain.
Although Monday is the main day, the festival starts on the Thursday evening with the official announcement and the explosions that signal the start of the celebrations. On the Sunday there is the great procession of the groups of organisers, the procession of Las Blusa, who go around the village, dancing, singing and waving their berets. On the Tuesday of San Juanín the festivities take on a more peaceful nature, to bid farewell to the festival until the following year.
Province: Burgos
The Festival of San Pascual Bailón and El Zarrón
17th May
The Festival of Zarrón, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, implies the participation of all the inhabitants of Almazán, a Sorian village. The origins can be traced back to the 19th century when the Cofradía (fraternity) de San Pascual Bailón was founded. Since then, on 17th May, the saint is paraded round the village in an ancient rite.
Four members of the fraternity carry the Saint on a platform, under the charge of the foremen and protected by the zarrón, a grotesque figure attired in shepherd's clothes and a black hat adorned with feathers and foxes' tails. There are three zarrones, and their mission is to precede the parade and clear the way for the eight dancing pairs and the drummer, who must always be facing the saint. The figures of the zarrón represent the protectors of the flock and this festival has its origins in this collective, which founded the Cofradía de San Pascual and chose the Saint as its patron.
The procession accumulates in the square, and when the saint is returned to the church the characters shout "Viva San Pascual Bailón!" (Long live San Pascual Bailón!) and the crowd responds "Viva!"; the participants shout "Viva el zarrón!", and they respond "Muera!" (Death!). Then the zarrones pretend to hit the crowd with sticks and run after those who are close to them. The young people run in front of them and are chased. At this point the religious celebrations finish and the profane ones begin. The foremen throw sweets so that the people form rings and the zarrón comes near to frighten them. When the procession is finished all the participants go to the house of the foreman, who is a member of the fraternity, to drink soparra, a typical festival drink made of bread, wine and sugar.
Province: Soria
The Festival of Santa Águeda
Next sunday to the 5 of February
The Festival of Santa Águeda is held in Zamarramala, close to Segovia, and is a festival celebrated by the women of the town, when the town becomes theirs for the day. The festival has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
The festival originates in the year 1227 when the Moores occupied the Alcázar (the fortress) of Segovia. The women of Zamarramala entertained the Moores with dancing while the men reconquered the fortress. Ever since then the feat has been celebrated in the town. The festivities start when the women form a procession to the church to collect the Saint. On the way, the procession becomes more of a parade, with dancing and music, which become even livelier when the women go out of the entrance to the village and dance under the sight of the Alcázar. In this moment, all remember the dances of the Zamarramalan women who distracted the Moores.
After mass, the Matahombres de oro (the Golden Mankiller) is awarded, a pin that women used to carry to protect themselves from harassment from the men, which today serves as award of recognition to a person or an institution that has fought for women's rights. The festivities are ended with reading of verses and the burning of a straw doll, called the pelele.
Province: Segovia
The Festival of the Patron Saint the Virgen del Valle
From the 5th to the 10th of September
From the 5th to the 10th of September, the village of Saldaña in Palencia is given over to the celebrations of the festivals of their patron saint, the Virgen del Valle, which have been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. The festivities during these days revolve around the patron of the town, and include popular dances such as the paloteo, where a man, the Chiborra, is dressed in a red and gold costume and dances with a stick, a tradition that was born in the middle ages.
The Procesión de las Antorchas (Procession of the Torches), on Friday night, is another of the attractions of the festival. The townspeople carry the Virgin from the Iglesia de San Miguel to the Santuario del Valle. On the following day, the Procesión de las Flores (Procession of the Flowers) is a beautiful spectacle, much enjoyed by the local people. To round off the celebrations, there is a traditional auction for the honour of bearing the platforms on which are carried the Virgin and the offering of sheep. Nowadays the festival also holds dancing, shows and bull runs.
Localidad: SALDAÑA

The Great Paella Festival of Olleros
First Sunday of August
In the village of Olleros de Pisuerga, in Palencia, on the first Sunday of August, the Gran Paellada Ollense (the Great Paella Festival of Olleros) is held, a gastronomic festival which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. The land next to the stone church of San Justo y Pasto is converted for the occasion into both kitchen and improvised dining hall in the open air, where more than 2,000 people assemble to enjoy a plate of rice, at the cost of about three euros.
This festival that started as a local pilgrimage now attracts thousands of tourists, who make the most of the occasion to spend the day at the country celebrations, where the entertainments include folk music and dancing.
The festival officially finishes on Sunday, although on Monday evening the guests are invited to a feast, where they are served chicken cooked Olleros style, with red peppers and paprika. There is also a tortilla competition, the tortillas being afterwards served to the guests, and to follow these events, traditional hot chocolate brings the feasting to a close.
Province: Palencia
The International Descent of the River Pisuerga and the Palencian Canoe Festival
The second Sunday of August
The International Descent of the River Pisuerga and the Palencian Canoe Festival, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, was initiated in 1965 on 15th August in the town of Alar del Rey, and is a competition in its category considered second only to the descent of the River Sella.
The start of the course is in Olleros de Pisuerga, from where the canoeists descend for 17 kilometres through numerous rapids and the five dams: those of Mave, Becerril, Nogales, la Fábrica de Campos and Canal de Castilla. The competition is a real spectacle that takes place in natural surroundings, and the course finishes at Alar del Rey.
On the eve of the competition the sirens sound to announce the handing in of sticks and certificates to a person who is in some way linked by their work to Alar del Rey. On the same day the traditional 'dance of the collar' is held, when all the participants wear a multi-coloured paper ruff, handmade by each person.
Straight after the competition a great public feast is held at the Campos del Soto, where huge paella is prepared for everyone who attends, usually over 5,000 people.
Province: Palencia

The Pilgrimage of Cristo de la Luz
10 days after the Ascent and 10 days before the Corpus
At the end of May or the beginning of June, as part of the festivities of Holy Week and the celebration of the pilgrimage of Rocío, the inhabitants of Lanzahíta, in the province of Ávila, assemble to start the Romería del Cristo de la Luz (the Pilgrimage of Christ of the Light). This pilgrimage is in the Andalusian style, with hundreds of adorned carriages and horseback riders.
The pilgrimage, which is of medieval origin and has a clear religious character, and has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, starts from Lanzahíta and heads towards neighbouring Hontanares. The story behind the pilgrimage tells how a shepherd found the sacred image of Christ close to Hontanares on the shores of the river Tiétar more than 400 years ago. He took it to Lanzahíta and hung it in the hermitage of La Virgen del Prado (the Virgin of the Pasture), but the image disappeared, only to be found in the same place it had been originally discovered. Again, it was taken to Lanzahíta, to the same temple, and again appeared in the place where the shepherd had found it. So the townspeople built a hermitage in Hontanares, where every year all the people of Lanzahíta go to show their devotion.
The pilgrimage starts at eight o'clock in the morning in Lanzahíta, and bearing a traditional candle, the procession of the faithful follows the route to Hontanares, where it usually arrives at about eleven o'clock. After mass, the pilgrims eat traditional pasties and drink lemonade on the shore of the river Tiétar.
Province: Ávila
The Pilgrimage of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves(Our Lady of the Snows)
4, 5 and 6 of August
The Pilgrimage of Our Lady of the Snows is a festival that is very characteristic of the Burgos villages Pas and Las Machorras and is held every year in Las Machorras. In Pas the way of life revolves around sheep and cattle, and this also provides the inspiration for its festival, which is related to the seasonal migration to new pastures.
The surroundings of the shrine to Our Lady of the Snows is the backdrop for the pilgrimage, in which the Pas communities of Burgos and Cantabria, and of course the thousands of people who go specially to see the celebrations, which have been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
The festivities start first thing in the morning, when the dancers go out to the entrance of the village to greet the visitors. The group is made up of eight dancers - boys from the village, and lead by the character of the head shepherd. The youngest boy carries a garland of dried flowers, and his job is to pretend to chase the town idiot, who represents the wolf, and whose job it is to go round asking for donations from the visitors before they are let through.
Each person represents a typical Pas character: the dancers are the sheep, the eldest boy is the shepherd, the town idiot is the wolf and the youngest boy the sheepdog. At about ten o'clock the dancers attend mass, before returning to the entrance of the village. At midday everybody follows in procession to the church, and afterwards they go to the town square, where the dancers relate funny and sarcastic stories about the events of the village.
The main festivities are complemented by the ceremony of the planting of a beech tree the day before at nine o'clock; and the smaller festivities of the following day, which include a donkey race and the hopscotch competitions, an official historic rural sport.

The Procession of Corpus Christi
The Sunday after the festivities of Corpus Christi
The legend tells that on the day of Santa Marina, the 17th June, a group of Christians dressed in a disguise of moss launched an attack to conquer the city of Béjar, which was under Muslim rule. Today the legend is brought to life on the Sunday after the festivities of Corpus Christi. The celebrations have been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
According to the legend, on the day of Santa Marina (a virgin who lived in disguise on the mountain of Castañar), the Christians assembled for mass in the place known as La Centena. After hearing the mass, they covered themselves with moss, and started off towards the fortress, to take the city. In the place where the Eucharist was held a hermitage was built, and since then a pilgrimage has taken place in honour of the "moss men". In the 14th century it was decided that as the celebration of the feat of the moss men is so close to that of Corpus Christi, they should be united.
The procession leaves from the Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor, and walks around the entire old quarter of the town, where the street are carpeted with thyme and all the balconies are garlanded, from which a rain of flower petals falls over the moss men as they pass beneath. At the end of the procession, in the Iglesia del Salvador, the flag is surrendered.

The Romeria of San Froilan
Lugar Hermitage in the inner area of the village.
Fechas 5th October (San Froilán).
Celebración Parade of pendones (historic flags) from different parts of the province. Procession of decorated carriages pulled by oxen or groups of horses. Competition of the carriages.
Observaciones These festivities also include the Cantaderas or the traditional celebration of Foro or Oferta , when the civil authorities discuss homage to the city.
The cantaderas are young people dressed in the style of Moores.
Other events: concerts, regional dances, fair, traditional Leon wrestling, children's fishing activities, skittles championships..
Tasting of traditional sausages and chorizos of San Froilán
The sacrificial festival of Jornadas de la Matanza
weekends of February and March
The festival Jornadas de la Matanza, which is held in Burgo de Osma, in Soria, has been celebrated during the weekends of February and March for more than 25 years. The restaurant Virrey Palafox organises the festival period, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
The restaurant becomes a meeting place for more than 1,000 people a day during the gastronomic occasion, who have the opportunity to sample a succulent menu made up from all kinds of pork produce. As well as the eating there is the ritual of the sacrifice of the pig, which is a traditional ceremony that is carried out according to official legislation.
The festival is of great interest and fame within Spanish gastronomic circles, and the slaughter of the pig also attracts many people from outside the area.
Province: Soria

Tournament of the Toro de Vega
following Tuesday to the Dia de la Peña, that agrees with the first Sunday after the 8 of September
The tradition of the bull is evident in all the villages of Castilla y León, and the village of Tordesillas, in Valladolid, is no exception. In the middle of September the Torneo del Toro de Vega (the Bull Tournament of the Plains) is held, a festival that has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. The Tournament is always celebrated on a Tuesday, according to the day of the Virgen de la Villa, on the 8th September. The Sunday after this date is the Día de la Peña , and the first Tuesday after that is the day of the Toro de la Vega.
The festivities consist in a bull weighing more than 500 kilos being released in the town, which then runs from the street Calle de San Antolín, next to the Plaza Mayor, to the bridge over the river Duero before crossing the plains. Horsemen with lances pursue the bull, to fight it face to face. The festival reflects the beauty of the struggle between the bull, the horse and the lancer on the plains of Tordesillas.
Province: Valladolid

Semana Santa de León - Easter Week in León
During this celebration, extraordinary religious images, created in the workshops of important Baroque artists centuries ago, are paraded through the streets of the city.
León’s Easter week tradition dates back to the 16th century. Over ten days, the 16 Easter brotherhoods do not only organise thirty or so processions, but also poetry sessions, concerts and speeches. Some 16,000 members take part in these acts amidst massive expectation from the crowds. From the first appearance of the Virgen del Camino through to the release of doves on the morning of Easter Sunday, there are many highly emotional moments.
Worthy of special mention is the Cristo de las Injurias procession – where scenes from the Passion are represented -, as well as the Ronda and the Pasos procession. Throughout the night of Maundy Thursday, with bells, trumpets and drums, the brotherhoods announce the departure of the procession that sets out at 7.30 on Good Friday morning. One of the most long-awaited moments is the encounter between the statues of the Virgen Dolorosa and San Juan in Plaza Mayor Square.
Easter week is one of the most spectacular and emotional fiestas here. Religious devotion, art, colour and music combine in acts to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ: the processions. Members of the different Easter brotherhoods, dressed in their characteristic robes, parade through the streets carrying religious statues (pasos) to the sound of drums and music – scenes of sober beauty.
Dates: 4/1/2007 - 4/8/2007

Mediaeval Battle between Navarros and Castellanos
Celebración Representation of the mediaeval battle that took place in 1054 between the troops of king García of Navarra and his brother Fernando I of Castilla, which was won by Fernando.
The penultimate Sunday of August.
The visitors participate in the battle, wearing mediaeval dress with armour, standards and horses.
King García of Navarra died in this battle.
Organised by the Asociación Cultural Amigos de Atapuerca (the Cultural Association Friends of Atapuerca).
Localidad: ATAPUERCA
CP: 9199
Romeria / The Festival of Hermandad
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Domingo siguiente a Nuestra Señora de Agosto.
Celebración Mass, procession, country meal. Each year the romeria (pilgrimage) is dedicated to a special event: the retirement of a well-known villager, unity with those who live outside the village, etc.
Localidad: UÑA (LA)

The day of el Salvador/ Santo Justo and San Pastor
Información de la fiesta
Fechas El día fijo es el 6 de Agosto, el resto de los días acercándose al fin de semana.
Celebración Mass, procession, fair, games for children, shooting at plates, football, meal of brotherhood.
CP: 34847
The Exaltacion del Fuero de Brañosera, 1st in Spain
Información de la fiesta
Fechas 13 de Agosto
Celebración An important person of the province reads a proclamation. Fair, popular games, sardine feast.
Localidad: BRAÑOSERA
CP: 34829

The Festival of Accion de Gracias
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 24 th August
Fecha fin 25 th August
Celebración Held the last weekend in august. Mass, procession, dancing, championships, sports and children's games...
Localidad: ATAPUERCA
The Festival of Accion de Gracias-Mecerreyes
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Se celebra la ultima o la penúltima semana de agosto, de jueves a domingo.
Celebración Held on the penultimate or the last week of august, from thursday to sunday. Every year the authorities pay for a visit to one of the capitals of the region for the elderly people of the village. Mass, procession, dancing, proclamation, children's activities....
CP: 9630
The Festival of Alba de Tormes
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 25 th August
Fecha fin 27 th August
Celebración Bullfights and penning. The transberberacion de Santa Teresa. Mass, procession, dancing, competitions, sporting and children's activities...

CP: 37800

The Festival of Candeleda
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Son 2 o 3 días en torno al 20 de agosto.
Celebración Held during 2 or 3 days around 20th august. Bullfights and penning, children's activities, sports, comic events....
Localidad: CANDELEDA
CP: 5480

The Festival of el Ausente
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 11 th August
Fecha fin 13 th August
Celebración Mass, procession, dancing, activities for children and sports events....
Localidad: NEBREDA

The Festival of el Corazon de Jesus and el Corazon de Maria
Información de la fiesta
Fechas De Viernes a Domingo en el primer fin de semana del mes de Agosto. (Si cae en los dos primeros días del mes, se traslada al siguiente).
Celebración Religious ceremonies, traditional dancing, fair and games for children.
Localidad: ABEZAMES

The Festival of la Alubia
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 26 th August
Fecha fin 27 th August
Celebración Fair, contest of bean plants, games for children, sporting championships and fireworks.
Carnival of the Bañeza
Celebration Fancy dress, street musicians and bands, and processions. The burial of the sardine
Province: León
Cigales, Fiesta de la Vendimia
Towards the end of September or beginning of October
Pisada en la Fiesta de la Vendimia, Cigales With the arrival of the grape harvest, towards the end of September or beginning of October, the town of Cigales (Valladolid) celebrates its Fiesta de la Vendimia (Wine Harvest Festival), an event which reunites all the bodegas and the 12 councils that belong to the Denominación de Origen Cigales.
The treading of the grape and tasting of the first pressing, which takes place over the weekend, is the most important part of the festival and the day when most tourists and other visitors attend. This is a day of wine tasting, with folklore groups and popular dancing as entertainment.
Actuación en la Plaza Mayor de Cigales
In addition to this, there is the Desfile de las bodegueras (Parade of Wine Producers), 12 youngsters representing the various towns of the D.O., one of which is elected as the best wine maker. After crossing the town and arriving at the Plaza de Lujano, an award ceremony takes place.
During the whole afternoon, the fiesta continues with music and a popular night party in the square dominated by the Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol.
The fiesta is rounded off by activities, such as the traditional tourist cycle ride which travels about 80 km through all the towns of the Cigales wine route. A wine tasting course, organised by the local wine board, is another of the activities forming the Fiesta de la Vendimia de Cigales, and provides a useful opportunity for participants to learn all about Spanish Denominaciones de Origen (Designations of Origin).








Corpus Christi
The village of Laguna de Negrillos, about forty kilometres from León, holds one of the most attractive and curious Corpus Christi processions of the many that are held in the area on the same day, and has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.

The procession has its origins in the public celebrations of the Eucharist, but it passes over the acts of liturgy to go straight to other, more profane forms of celebration, where spectacles and dancing are made a part of the religious festival. An entourage of men dressed up in petticoats perform traditional dances through the streets of Laguna. The procession is headed by Saint Sebastian, the captain of the bandits, dressed as Napoleon and sporting a Spanish shawl over his military uniform. Behind him come the apostles, each dressed as his corresponding character, eight dancers and two grotesquely dressed characters who represent the devil and accompany the dancers through the whole procession.
Province: León
Fiesta de los Gabarreros
The first two weeks of March
Fiesta de los Gabarreros
The Fiesta de los Gabarreros, held in El Espinar and San Rafael in the province of Segovia, is a homage to the gabarreros (loggers), the locals who used to transport the pine trunks cut down by the lumberjacks back to the town.

In the first two weeks of March, this tradition is relived, accompanied by other gastronomic celebrations supported by many restaurants of the town, which prepare old recipes that used to be eaten by loggers. In this way, we can commonly find dishes such as Caldereta de los gabarreros, Cocido Maragato al estilo gabarrero, Judiones con liebre del monte and Patatas galopadas.

The party lasts for three days and the visitors can view exhibitions about branch trimming, wood chopping or a traditional parade of carts, axe men and horses, along with the typical dragging of the pines, all accompanied with dances and music.



Good Friday in Ágreda
Romanos, Ágreda
The Good Friday festival in Ágreda has a great tradition, and is characterised by the costumes worn by the Cofradía (fraternity) de la Vera Cruz, which is from the 17th century and is known as the felipecuarto, as it is inspired by the fashions of the nobility during the reign of Felipe IV. On the morning of Good Friday the fraternity carries its religious images in procession, in accordance with secular convention, to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Milagros to hear the Sermón de las Siete Palabras (the sermon of the seven words), during which the change of the guard is enacted by the roman soldiers who guard the Calvary. In the evening La Procesión del Santo Entierro (holy burial) is held.
La Charrada
Holy Saturday
Fiesta de la Charrada Ciudad Rodrigo La Charrada (a country dance named after the province of Charra) is perhaps one of the most impressive festivals of those held in Ciudad Rodrigo, in the province of Salamanca. A real spectacle founded on traditional folk music, costumes and dress. The festival has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and is the biggest representation and expression of Salamancan folklore. It always coincides with the festival of Sábado Santo (Holy Saturday), also called Sábado de Gloria (Saturday of Glory).
The festivities are held in the Plaza Mayor, where folk groups gather from all over the Ciudad Rodrigo area, the province of Charra, and other points of Spain and Portugal. On this day every corner of Ciudad Rodrigo is converted into a spectacle, and it is not surprising to bump into people at every step dancing to the sound of pipes and showing off the colour of their clothes. During the celebrations, which officially start in the afternoon, a person or institution is awarded the Charra oak for their work for the music of Salamanca.
Province: Salamanca
La Soldadesca
20 of August
The festival of the Soldadesca, which is held in the village of Iruecha in Soria, is one of the most original festivals of the province, and has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. It consists of the acting out of a battle on horseback in which four Moores fight four Christians to win the image of the Virgen de la Cabeza. There are eleven actors, and the show includes the recital of a religious text. At the end, an angel appears who converts one of the Moores to Christianity.
The show takes place in the open air, and the setting, the costumes and the two-hour act itself are very impressive. The women of the village attend dressed as Moores and Christians and hold the standards of their side aloft during the battle.
At night the pilgrimage Rosario de las Flores takes place, where each person carries a brightly coloured lantern.
Province: Soria
Los Encierros tradicionales de Medina del Campo
 First week of October
At the beginning of October Medina del Campo (Valladolid) holds its traditional running of the bulls, a festival that has been declared of tourist interest to Castilla y León. The fact that such bullfighting festivals have their roots in antiquity, possibly as far back as the 16th century, is a perfect excuse for the annual outpouring of energy that the 20,000 people who visit the festival bring to the town during such fairs. This particular one coincides with the fairs celebrated in honour of San Antolín.
The running of the bulls, which takes place on horseback and on foot, as well as in the countryside and in the very heart of the town, have come to embody the very essence of popular tradition in this town. In fact, there are numerous clubs of bullfighting enthusiasts and even an association that is in charge of organising the festivities. Each session ? there are usually six in all ? can last more than an hour in the countryside and approximately half an hour when brought to the town itself.

San Bartolomé
Third week of August
The Festival of Saint Bartholomew, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, is held in the village of Villarramiel in about the third week of August, to include the day of Saint Bartholomew, which is the 24th.
Two shows are the basis of these celebrations, and during the week there is music and other activities, provided by groups of local people. On the Sunday the first main act is the typical rounding up of heifers, which are run through the streets of the village and out into the countryside. The sight if the cattle out in the open, with the people protecting them is a wonderful experience. The second show is an exhibition of horse-riding skills, a celebration linked to the customs of the village, where there are four horsemeat businesses, a unique concept in all the province.

The Bull Carnival
Carnaval del Toro The stars of this festival are without a doubt the bulls. The acts of penning, bullfights and bull-runs have a great following and many people are eager to participate. During the intervals in the celebrations it is the job of the festival groups to entertain everyone with bands and their costumes.
The Bull Carnival is held in Ciudad Rodrigo (Salamanca) and has been declared of national touristic interest. The name reflects the large role of the bull in the festivities. The festival officially starts on the Viernes de Carnaval, the Friday before Lent, with the penning of bulls and oxen. Afterwards the announcements of the carnival, in which the chief announcer, along with the queen and the ladies of the festival will greet Don Carnal.
The lights, colours and music entertain the participants until around midnight, when the young people of the village take over the part of the bullring that they will occupy for the bull fighting.
Encierro del Carnaval del Toro
On Saturday morning the penning and releasing of the animals, and the bull fighting, which go on throughout the four days of the carnival. But one of the most impressive moments of the festival is the penning of the bulls on horseback, on Sunday morning. The glamour of the animals running through the fields perused by a group of horsemen who drive them into the town square is a great spectacle.
The aguardiente bull-run is the act that concludes the festivities on Tuesday. So called because before the bull is released the participants are served aguardiente, a strong spirit, and the local sweet, peronillas.
Province: Salamanca
The Dance of the Escarrete
At the beginning of February, on the third day of the month if it is a Sunday or the day before if not, the Burgos town of Poza de la Sal holds the Dance of the Escarrete, a festival which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and which each year attracts more tourists.
The favourite event of the celebrations starts with a street parade by the young people of the town, dressed in traditional costumes and presided over by the chicken-man, who carries chickens and rabbits tied to a stick. Everybody gathers at the arch of the Conception from where the parade will leave.
When mass is brought to a close by the kissing of the relic, the crowd celebrate the moment by throwing people up in the air on a blanket held by everybody. In the afternoon, the traditional praise and hymn are sung to the Virgin of Pedrajas. In the evening the celebrations arrive at the dance of the Escarrete, which is demonstrated by the young people who dextrously perform a hopping dance around a chicken or a rabbit, which they must touch with a sword. The chicken-man is the last to perform a wedding dance or a ponzana dance, with which the celebrations are rounded off.
Province: Burgos
The Festival of el Noveno

Fechas Held the second weekend in may (11th may)
Celebración Horse penning and traditional bull events. In commemoration of the freeing from taxes of the duke and duchess of alba.
Observaciones Events of celebrations:

Bullfights (about five in the afternoon)

Horse-penning (about nine in the morning)
Bullfights in the afternoon

Horse-penning (about eleven in the morning)
Bull festival (about five in the afternoon)
Night-time fair in the Plaza Mayor.

CP: 37270
The Festival of Exaltation of Cangrejo de Río
First Sunday of August
Monumento al cangrejo
On the first Sunday of August the crab becomes the focus of attention in the village of Herrera de Pisuerga in Palencia, when the town celebrates the Festival of Exaltation of Cangrejo de Río (River Crab), declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. The celebrations attract more tourists every year to the town.
Among the activities prepared for the occasion are the fancy dress contest and the parade of carriages, which brings a myriad of colours to the festival. The competitions of live and prepared crabs are the events proceeding one of the most awaited events of the festivities: the crab paella, available for everybody who attends the celebrations. The climax of the festival is the burning of a giant wooden crab, with which the festivities are drawn to a close until the next year.
Province: Palencia
The Festival of Fiestas Nuestra Señora y San Roque
From the 14 to the 18 of August
The Festival of Nuestra Señora and San Roque, held in Peñafiel, a village in the province of Valladolid, is famous for its bull-fights and its traditional procession, the Chúndara. The festival attracts hundreds of tourists every year, and has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
A pistol shot is the starting signal of four days of merriment and fun. The first shot and the chiming of the church bells announce the start of the chúndara, an endless procession which makes its way to the Plaza del Coso, while the villagers throw buckets of water on the people below from their balconies. On arrival at the square, the young bulls are released. The bulls will be fought during the festival, and then on the last night served in a stew for all the villagers and guests.
The penning of the bulls, which goes on all through the festival, starts at nine o'clock in the morning. The fights too go on all day in the Plaza del Coso, and are famous for the fact that there is one bull inside the ring and another outside. Bull festivals have been held in the Plaza del Coso since the Middle Ages, and the village also boasts several houses which conserve a touch of the Middle Ages in their construction. The gaudy wooden balconies are particularly noticeable, from where the residents observe the bull traditions and other events which take place throughout the year.
Province: Valladolid
The Festival of la Vendimia
 10th October to12th October
Celebratión Procession of adorned carts, tasting of the first grape juice, competition of picnic baskets.
The first day of October
Localidad: TORO

The Festival of las Cantaderas
Sunday previous 5th october
Celebración Traditional celebration of Foro, when the civil authorities discuss homage to the city.
Observaciones In remembrance of the time when the tribute of the hundred maids was paid to the Moorish king of Granada. The lifting of this tribute gave way to the tradition of San Froilán.
Held in the cathedral, with singers or traditional forum or offers, where the civil and religious authorities discuss homage to the city.
The "cantaderas" are young people dressed in the style of Moores.
Localidad: LEON
The Festival of los Carochos
1st January
Celebración This festival is used to be called La Fiesta del Pan Bendito (the blessed bread). Its current name comes from the carocha (mask), with which some of the participants wear to cover their faces.
First there are the devils with enormous pincers which they use to grab people; then there are the guapos (the good-looking ones): the galán (the handsome one), the madama (Madame), the drummer, the one in cloth and the one in rags; and the filandorros (the philanderers): the molacillo, el ciego (blind one) and the gitano and gitana (gypsy man and woman).
The festival is a winter event and the acts take place in the streets in the morning.
The galán and the madama want the priest to baptise a wooden baby. They are accompanied by the drummer who plays a drum from Aliste, the one in cloth, and the one in rags who for donations.
After the baptism the filandorros arrive with a cart. The molacillo, dressed in white, drives the cart, in which rides the ciego, dressed in sacking and with an instrument that imitates a zamfoña, and the gitana who is a man dressed up and is spinning. After the cart comes the gitano riding a donkey.
In the square the accident happens. The cart turns over and the ciego dies. the molacillo calls for a vet and a priest, characters that may be any villager. The gitana appears to be transformed into a new person: the filandorra, dressed in and threads and throwing ashes at everybody.
These situations are funny and the people sing traditional comic verses.
The festival of Nuestra Señora de la Virgen del Pino and San Roque
from 14 to 18 of August
The festivals of the patron saint of Vinuesa, in Soria, are based around the pine, a tree which has been of great importance in the area and is seen as a sign of identification, so much so that the patron saint bears the name: Nuestra Señora de la Virgen del Pino. The Pingada del Mayo marks the beginning of the popular festival, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and which has its origins in the disputes between the people of Vinuesa and those of the neighbouring village of Covaleda over the great pinewood that separates the two villages. The dispute was increased when the image of Nuestra Señora de la Virgen del Pino appeared inside the trunk of a tree that had its roots in the territory of one village and its branches in the territory of the other.
In the end the quarrel was settled by giving the rights of the pinewood to Covaleda, and the image of the Virgin to the people of Vinuesa.
On 14th August, the town celebrates the Pingada del Mayo. The festivities consist in mounting two enormous pine trunks measuring about thirty metres as a symbol of fertility, in front of the hermitage in the middle of Plaza Mayor. At dusk the Mayoress offers the saint a candle in the name of the whole village. She is accompanied by two men, also bearing burning oil candles.
On the 15th, the day is centred around a procession and the mass that is held in honour of the patron saints of the village; and the two fraternities of the village, of San Roque and of Nuestra Señora en el Campo Verde, perform dances.
Aside from the Pingada, on the 16th the Pinochada is another of the most emblematic parts of the festival. All the women of the village, from the youngest to the oldest, dress up in the traditional costume and form a procession carrying pine branches. This is the day that represents the dispute between the two villages, and the two fraternities, of Nuestra Señora del Pino and of San Roque, one for married men and the other for single men, respectively, re-enact a symbolic fight. In the end the married men win, and the women start to hit everybody with the pine branches. The festival continues throughout the day with different events.
The two remaining days are reserved for the bulls. On 17th, the bullfights are held. On the morning of 18th the square becomes an improvised centre for bullfights with young bulls, greasy pole matches and games for the children, as well as the typical trunk cutting contest for the locals and visitors to show off their skills. At 7.00 it is time for the traditional Caldereta or stew in El Regajo, a spot surrounded by pine trees. The stew is made from the meat of the bulls from the fights and shared by everybody. The meal is followed by merry-making, and the traditional bangs bring the end to the festival until the following year.
Province: Soria
The Festival of San Juan or Madre de Dios
 Thursday to Friday after the 23 of June
With the arrival of the day of San Juan the whole city of Soria is transformed into a real hullabaloo, in which tourists and visitors take part as much as the the Sorians. The festival has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and dates back to the 12th century. The city is divided into twelve areas that represent the twelve districts, and each has a jurado, in charge of making the festival arrangements.
Each day has its assigned activities and even its own name. One of the most impressive days is Jueves de Saca, when young bulls are brought to the capital from Monte Valonsadero, herded by people on foot and on horseback. Mid morning, the herd is collected from Cañadahonda and taken to Vega de San Millán, the traditional event before the fighting starts in the bullring.
Friday is Día de Toros, the day of the bulls. There are six bullfights in the morning and six n the afternoon.
The giving out of the bull meat after the fights, for which the townspeople buy vouchers, and the auction for the prime cuts are the events of Saturday, Sábado Agés, when bull herding and bull-runs are also part of the festivities.
The celebrations are under the charge of each district, in their respective festival organisation. Each person receives their cut of meat, prepared by the young men of the town, and complimented by other local produce including wine, spirits and cakes.
But without a doubt the main day of the San Juan festival is Domingo de Calderas. First thing in the morning all the inhabitants assemble in the Plaza Mayor to form the procession of Calderas, which leaves for la Alameda de Cervantes at about mid morning. One by one the city areas join the procession, many dressed in typical Sorian costume, behind the caldera, a huge copper pot which carries the bull meat stew, with roast chicken, chorizo and hard boiled eggs. Once they reach the Alameda, everybody, including the visitors to the town, is invited to a feast of stew, washed down with wine. The feast is called the Banquete Franco.
Monday brings the end to the festivities with another parade, in which each section of the city bears its personal saint. After mass is held in the Ermita de la Soledad, each statue is returned to its temple. The last procession, in the afternoon, follows the road the leads to San Polo, and open-air celebrations round the festival off until the next year's San Juan in Soria.
Province: Soria

The Festival of San Pedro and San Pablo. Day of the Coteries
29 of June
The Día de las Peñas (The Day of the Coteries) or of the Burgalés Ausente (the Absent Burgos inhabitant), is celebrated in June in honour of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and marks the end of the festivities of the patron saints of Burgos. It has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
Every year for the Operación Añoranza (Operation of Yearning) thousands of people assemble in the park of Fuentes Blancas, about five kilometres from the centre of the city, to remember all the people of Burgos who are away from their home town. And every year the council of Burgos bring home some twenty emigrants from all over the world. These people are the real stars of the day, and will have spent the week celebrating the festivals of the patron saints. They are joined by the citizens of Burgos who live in other parts of Spain and who during this week return en masse to their regional homes.
The festivities start with the traditional dance of the giants, and dancers who pass through the park throughout the day, and is followed by an open-air mass in honour of the Virgen de la Gruta (the Virgin of the Grotto).
Afterwards, park Fuentes Blancas is host to the gastronomic competition of Buen Yantar (Good Food), in which participate different groups, or coteries. Shows, dancing, fireworks and bands draw the day to a close and see the city festivities out until the following year.

The Festival of the Captain
On the eve of Saint John's day
June 24
Fiesta del Capitán, Danzadores In the town of Frías, in the province of Burgos, the Festival of the Captain is held on the closest weekend to the festivities of Saint John. The day is in memory of the era of the Condestables de Castilla (the Castilian Counts), who in the 15th century tried to take over the town. But the people rose up in defiance of the corrupt taxes and fought for their freedom. A captain was chosen to organise the defence for the battle.
Fiesta del Capitán
Every year on the eve of Saint John's day in the parade ground of the castle a captain is chosen for his ability to fly the flag. At night he will parade through the streets of the town dressed up in the clothes of the era and bearing the flag, which is made up from strips of clothing from all the townspeople to represent the union of the citizens in the face of the enemy. On his way he is accompanied by everybody from the town, and dancers dancing to the sound of pipes and drums. The festival has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
Province: Burgos
The festival of the Colacho
Sunday following the day of Corpus Christi
Fiesta del Colacho, Castillo de Murie (Soria) In Castrillo de Murcia, Burgos, on the Sunday following the day of Corpus Christi, the Festival of the Colacho is held, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
A secular tradition and deeply rooted in the customs of the people, it dates back to the 17th century and has been maintained until today. The Colacho is meant to represent the devil, and is a character dressed up in a brightly coloured grotesque outfit and wearing a mask. The festivities consist of him pretending to attack the crowd with a whip made from a horse's tail, while they shout insults at him.
During the day the villagers construct altars with flowers, so that when the Colacho passes he will stop and jump over the children who have been born that year in Castrillo de Murcia. This farce or taunting game represents the victory of the faith of the Christian people and the Sacrament of the Eucharist over evil and heresy.
Province: Burgos
The Festival of the Tied Bull
Eve of the Corpus Christi
May/ June
The Festival of the Tied Bull has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and is one of the great attractions of the village of Benavente, in the province of Zamora. The event, which is more than 300 years old, takes place during the celebrations of Corpus Christi, but has its prelude 50 days before the start of the festival. On this day the villagers act out the traditional demanding of the bull, the origin of which lies in the tale of how the son of the Benaventen Countess was killed by a bull. When she was told the news, the Countess asked as revenge that the bull was run to death in the streets by the villagers. From then on in memory of her son she donated a bull to the villagers on the same day every year. When the Countess died, the villagers ran en masse to demand the bull from the mayor, and this tradition is now also repeated every year. On this day in the Plaza Mayor all the villagers clamour for a bull: "toro! toro! toro!" until the mayor concedes.
The festival lasts a week, but the main day is Wednesday, when the young men of the village run the bull around the whole town. It is a physical race between the men and the bull, which has a rope tied to its horns so that it doesn't escape from the course. The bull does not suffer at all, in fact there are three places where it can rest without being harassed by the people.
Province: Zamora
The Medieval Jousting of Passo Honroso
First weekend of June
The Medieval Jousting of Passo Honroso (the Honourable Pass), which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, are held in memory of the feats of Don Suero de Quiñones in the 15th century. Don Suero had made a vow to his love Leonor to fast on Thursdays and to wear an iron ring around his neck. But he wanted to be released from the promise, and so he proposed that he would break 300 lances of the foreign knights who crossed the bridge. His challenge was never completed: after breaking only 166 lances the judges took pity on him and released him from the vow.
Since then, every year on the first weekend of June, the village of Hospital de Órbigo remembers that day when Don Suero and his attendants pitched themselves in contest with a group of knights. The tournament is one of the main acts of the games, which include a parade of standard bearers and mounted knights before the great battle, and the ladies' medieval dancing and folk music. The medieval market and the different games and contests that fill the streets, attract more than 15,000 tourists every year, to mix with the townspeople who dress up in mediaeval costumes.
The end of the festivities is celebrated with a public mediaeval feast, including entertainment from minstrels, jugglers and saltimbanquis (circus performers), and followed by an impressive medieval torch-lit procession.
Province: León
The Pilgrimage of Cristo del Caloco
following sunday to the 14 of September
Romería del Santo Cristo del Caloco The Pilgrimage of Cristo del Caloco is held in El Espinar, Segovia, on the Sunday following the 14th of September. The pilgrimage has a great tradition in the village and has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León.
The day begins at dawn, around 8.30, in the gateway where the pilgrims and the carriages stand in preparation for the occasion. To get everybody started at that time in the morning, traditional garlic soup is handed out to all. After mass is sung, the image of the Cristo del Caloco back to the hermitage. A country mass is held, after which the pilgrimage itself is made, accompanied by the playing of pipes and drums.
After the competitions for the carriages and religious dolls, everybody eats a meal of traditional potato and beef stew. More than 2,000 people attend this meal every year.
The day is brought to a close with the official farewell to the hermitage and the return to the village. When the pilgrims reach the village of Pradera del Puente, a stop is made for dancing, then the pilgrims head for the church.
Province: Segovia
The Pilgrimage of Nuestra Señora de Hontanares
following sunday to the 8 of September
Ermita de Hontanares The Pilgrimage of Nuestra Señora de Hontanares is held in the village of Riaza, in the province of Segovia, and shows the devotion of the townspeople for their Virgin. The festival has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and features pipes and dancing as two main components. All the villagers assemble at the hermitage, from where the procession starts, bearing the cross through part of the Sierra de Ayllón to the spring called the spring of the three drops, where, according to the tales, the Virgin appeared.
The procession is impressive - there are so many people that the Virgin appears to fly through the meadows of the hermitage. Typically the townspeople dance traditional dances as they go. After mass, the honour of bearing the platform on which the Virgin rides is auctioned, and the crowd carry her back to the church.
Province: Segovia
The Pilgrimage of San Bernabé
Saturday 11th June, or the Saturday following 11th June
Merindad de Sotoscueva, Romería de San Bernabé In the Burgos jurisdiction of Sotoscuevas every year on Saturday 11th June, or the Saturday following 11th June, the pilgrimage of Saint Barnabus is held, at the doors of the hermitage of the same name, inside a spectacular set of caves that are the natural entrance to Ojo Guareña. This impressive scenic combination is worth a visit on this or any other day of the year.
For the pilgrimage, which has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, the council of jurisdiction pays homage to the saint and revives their historic past year after year. In the olden days, the counsel of the governors of the jurisdiction was held in the open air, around the sacred holm oak, until in 1616 the entire office was transferred to one of the caves next to the hermitage of Saint Barnabus which today takes the place of the registry.
The pilgrimage starts at the sacred oak, where after the authorities have signed the books of honour the Carbonero Mayor (main charcoal burner)is named - a very common office in these lands of oaks and holm oaks. Then comes the lighting of the charcoal, and all the people follow the road to the hermitage, where the main mass is held in the open air.
A feast is served, there are more than 3,000 people, with dancing and folk music, and various traditional competitions, to round off the celebrations.
Province: Burgos
The Romería of Nuestra Señora de Chilla
Second Sunday of September
The Romería (pilgrimage) of Nuestra Señora de Chilla has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and is held on the second Sunday of September in the village of Candeleda in Ávila. The festival dates back to the middle ages, and is so called after the place Chilla where the hermitage of the Virgin Nuestra Señora stands.
On the day of the celebrations the villagers and more than 12,000 people who attend the event commemorate the apparition of the Virgen de Chilla to a young Shepherd around the year 1300. According to the legend the Shepherd Firnardo, from the village of Calera, gathered his flock and took them to the mountain one day, as he did every day, but one of his goats ate some poisonous grass by misfortune and died. The Virgin appeared and revived the goat, and now she always appears with the symbol of a goat.
The pilgrimage, which many people make on horseback, ends at midday with mass. All the parishioners gather in the area of the stone of the apparitions in an impressive oak wood which serves as an open-air eating place, as tradition states that the families of the village eat and spend the afternoon at the spot.
The main day of the festival is Sunday, but the celebrations go on until Tuesday, when in Candelada there are bull fights, bull runs with fire and pennings.
Province: Ávila
The Romeria of Santo Toribio
Fechas 16th april
Celebración Procession and traditional fight with bread and cheese from the Cristo del Otero.
Localidad: PALENCIA
CP: 34000
The Romeria to San Pedro de Alcantara
Fechas 19 de Octubre
Celebración Before the pilgrimage starts there is an auction for the privilege of carrying the saint's platform. The saint is then carried to the sanctuary which is 3km or about 11/2 miles away. The villagers walk or ride on garlanded horses.
CP: 5400
The Zangarron
Fechas 26th December (Festival of San Esteban ).
Celebración Intervention of Zangarrones, a type of clown who keeps order. .
Observaciones The zangarron wears a black leather mask and colourful clothes, and carries a stick from which hang several bags. He must chase the children and the elderly people.
The bags represent fertility and the cowbells tied to his back frighten away the sprits.
With him go in two files and covered with long black cloaks the eighteen years olds of the year.
The mission of the zangarrón is to protect the young men from the people so they may dance.
There are several roles: the mayordomo, who must make sure the saint is lit up; bailonas, who dance and help with the mass; tocadores, with tambourines and castanets; and asadores, who collect the donations.
This is a pagan festival and the whole village ends up covered in flour.
Localidad: SANZOLES
CP: 49152
Walking on coals and the Festival of the Móndidas
23 and 24 june
The rite of fire presides over the walking on coals festival, which on the eve of San Juan is celebrated in the village of San Pedro Manrique (Soria). The festival has been declared of national touristic interest. On the shortest night of the year, the villagers, joined every year by thousands of tourists, walk barefoot over a carpet of glowing coals, which measures about two metres long by one metre wide, and about 15 centimetres deep.
The coal walkers, wearing red sashes, are already warming up when the tourists arrive. At midnight music announces the start of the rite and the entrance of the móndidas, three young single women who will be the centre of the following day's celebrations. The three girls are the queens of the festival, their significance bears relation to Celtic summer solstices, where the image of the goddesses of fire appears. At the sound of a bugle, the walkers cross the coals: as many men as want to, providing they were born in the town. The first three walk over the coals carrying the three móndidas on their backs; followers may carry other women, children or men. The curious but true fact is that the faith that the people of San Pedro Manrique possess on this night is what keeps their feet from burning.
On the following morning, the day of the Móndidas, the three girls will dress in elegant white blouses, Manilan shawls, amulets and jewellery, and a traditional head decoration called the cestaño: a basket adorned with flowers, a flat piece of bread and typical arbujuelos, Sorian decorations.
While they are dressing, a horseman wearing full traditional dress rides around the walls and the streets of the village. When the móndidas have colleted the cestaño they are accompanied by the townspeople and the town authorities to the Plaza de la Cosa to see the Caballeda, a horse race where the horses are ridden bareback and the winner wins a trophy that is similar to the cesteña.
Halfway through the morning, mass is held in honour of the Virgen de la Peña, to whom the móndidas give their arbujuelos. Then everybody goes to the square to drink remojón, red wine with sugar and bread, while the young men raise the Maypole. In front of the town council the móndidas read selected verses, then there is traditional dancing , and the festivities are brought to a close.
Province: Soria
Day of Accion de Gracias

Fecha inicio 24 th August
Fecha fin 25 th August
Celebración Held in the last weekend of august, usually with bull-penning and fights, mass, a procession, dancing, events for children and sporting events.....

Localidad: PANCORBO

Romeria / Marcha Atletica a Carrasconte
Fechas 14 de Agosto

On the night of 14th August, during the festival of San Roque, the MARCHA ATLETICA A CARRASCONTE (walk to Carrasconte) is held.
The walk is lit by torches and goes from the village of Caboalles de Arriba to the Santuario de la Virgen (sanctuary of the Virgin) in Carrasconte, which belongs to the Council of Villablino but is close to the village of Villaseca de Laciana.
A crowd of children carries torches and crowns of flowers, and are trailed by a line of cars to the hermitage, where they make their offerings.
Outside traditional garlic soup is prepared for the guests, from which each person takes their clay dish and wooden spoon away with them as a souvenir. There are celebrations with pipers, regional costume, stalls of trinkets and of cider.
During the following day, 15th August, mass is held almost once an hour.
CP: 24100
The Bull Festival
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 19 th August
Fecha fin 28 th August
Celebración Bullfights and penning, the festival groups have many events. The diablillo bull-run
Localidad: SEPULVEDA
CP: 40300
The day of the Bollu Preñau
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Primer domingo de Agosto
Celebración This day has been celebrated for the past twenty years in honour of the visiting people from Asturias. There is a pilgrimage, a fraternal meal in the spot known as el Jardín de los Patos (the garden of the ducks), folkloric shows and travelling vendors.
CP: 24200
The Feria de San Bernardo
Información de la fiesta
Fechas 20 de Agosto
Celebración Cattle market and contest. Games for children in the morning, and an orchestra in the afternoon.
CP: 34847
The Festival of Accion de Gracias-Fontioso
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Se celebra el último fin de semana de agosto.
Celebración Held on the last weekend in august. Mass, pipers, games....
Localidad: FONTIOSO

The Festival of Agosto de Iscar
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Primer fin de semana de Agosto
Celebración Bullfighting, penning and other bull events.
Localidad: ISCAR
CP: 47420

The Festival of Arenas de San Pedro
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 17 th August
Fecha fin 27 th August
Celebración Bullfights and penning
CP: 5400

The Festival of Bernardos
Información de la fiesta
Fechas De miercoles a domingo de la última semana del mes de Agosto.
Celebración Bull penning and different types of fights, fair, cultural week.
Localidad: BERNARDOS
CP: 40430

The Festival of Carbajosa de la Sagrada
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 10 th August
Fecha fin 17 th August

The Festival of el Beato Julian de San Agustin
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 24 th August
Fecha fin 28 th August
Celebración Mass, procession , fair, games, sports championships ,fireworks.
CP: 42240

The Festival of el Gorrete
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Se celebra en la semana del 15 de agosto.
Celebración Held on the week of 15th august. Shows, dancing, puppets, public meal....
Localidad: MAHAMUD

The Festival of el Mejillon
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 19 th August
Fecha fin 20 th August
Celebración The villagers buy a thousand kilos of mejillones (mussels), which they wash in the public fountains. Each person donates a little towards the festival costs. In a place called El Cubillo they eat the mussels. There is fair and games.
CP: 42147

The Festival of el Salvador
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 5 th August
Fecha fin 7 th August
Celebración Mass, procession, fair, skittles and traditional wrestling.
Localidad: BURON

The Festival of el Salvador
Información de la fiesta
Fecha inicio 5 th August
Fecha fin 7 th August
Celebración The main day is 6th august. Bulls, dancing, processions and sports....
Localidad: ADRADA (LA)
CP: 5430
The Festival of Hontalbilla
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Durante 4 días entorno al 15 de agosto.
Celebración Bull-runs, penning and releasing of bulls. Children's and cultural events, fair.
CP: 40353

The Festival of Horcajo de las Torres
Información de la fiesta
Fechas Se celebra el fin de semana siguiente al 15 de agosto.
Celebración Bullfights and penning. Held on the weekend after 15th august. On friday after mass and the procession there is banquet for the villagers with dancing.
CP: 5210
Procesión de El Vítor - El Vítor procession
27th September
Castille y Leon
Popular Holidays in Spain.
Arts and culture in Spain
Fire, song and prayers to the Saint
Every year, on 27 September, the feast of Santo Toribio de Mogroviejo is celebrated in Mayorga. It commemorates the arrival of the Saint’s relics to his birthplace. There is a procession called El Vítor, where residents of the village walk with flaming torches made out of grape skins, from the Saint’s house to the shrine. During the procession there are singing and fireworks, and the celebration finally ends up in the village’s local associations Santo Toribio de Mogroviejo was a missionary in Latin America. The tradition of the El Vítor procession dates back to the 18th century, when village residents took to the streets with torches to celebrate the arrival of the Saint’s relics. A shrine in his honour was built in Mayorga in 1737

The Festival of el Lermeño Ausente
3rd to 5th August
Celebración Held the first weekend in august.
Localidad: LERMA
CP: 9340
 The Festival of el Patron del Salvador
Información de la fiesta
Fechas El 6 de agosto (El Salvador).
Celebración Representation of the commemoration of the historic name of the village. .
Only one day, on 6th August, the day of El Salvador.
Seven maidens were given to the Muslim Abderramán II as a present from King Ramiro I, but they each cut off one of their hands so that Abderramán wouldn't accept them. Abderramán II said "si mancas me las aís, mancas no las quiero" (if you give them to me with one hand I do not want them).
The representation takes place in the morning.
Traditional dancing of the jotas from Simancas.
In the afternoon: bulls.
At night: fair.
City of Simancas
Plaza Mayor, s / n
47130 Valladolid Simancas
T. +34 983 590 008

The Festival of el Toro
17th August to 19th August
Celebración Bullfights with capes and bullfights with sharp sticks, penning. Mass, procession, dancing, street parades, exhibition. Held on the penultimate weekend in august.

Ayuntamiento de Vilvestre
Plaza Mayor 1. 37258 Vilvestre (Salamanca)