Fiesta de la Virgen de la Portilla (Virgin of La Portilla Festival)
Festival in La Portilla begins on January 1st. What makes it very special from the rest of other Cuevan villages’s festivals is that La Portilla has two religious images: Virgin of Carmen and Virgen del Niño (Virgin and Child). The latter is an ancient carved image that managed to survive the Spanish Civil War 1936-39.
In the morning, there is a mass with flamenco music performed by the local folk group, followed by a tasting of typical local dishes.
In the afternoon, and before the beginning of the procession, the religious floats are bid, and the family that offers more money will be the one in charge to carry the floats in procession.
After that, there are fireworks and live dance by an orchestra.
This festival continues on January 6th, with the celebration of children's activities such as traditional sacks and ribbons races.
Fiesta de la Virgen del Rulador (Festival in El Rulador)
This festival takes place in honour of the Virgin del Carmen from El Rulador. Its brotherhood is more than 100 years old. The hermitage that shelters the Virgin is located in the Barrio del Rulador neighbourhood. The plot where this church was built was donated by a man, whose only insistence was the hermitage to be built looking towards his house.
This festival begins at 6 am on January 2nd with a passacaglia at dawn with music and rockets. Lots ot sweets are given door-to-door. In the evening, fireworks finale take place. These fireworks are quite special because each rocket is launched in homage to a person whose nickname has been previously mentioned.
On January 3rd, sermon and mass are held at 10 a.m., with the Municipal Band music.
Then, there is a meal for all attendees, which it is paid with annual lotto incomes and the donations of the citizens.
After the meal, at around 4p.m., the Virgin is taken out of the hermitage for the procession in her honour. It goes along all the zone houses even though sometimes their accesses may be quite diffficult.
Fiestas del Carmen – (Barrio Bravo neighbourhood)
These festivals were held in Campos and Cupillas parishes since ancient times to announce all the farmhouses the beginning of the celebrations with a passacaglia at dawn and a free glass of anisette or cognac.
Nowadays, it takes place on January 5th in Barrio Bravo. It is organized by the Virgin of Carmen brotherhood that also prepares the celebration of The Three King Day Parade.
In Ephifany’s eve, the members of this brotherhood, disguised as The Three Kings and their pages, go to the retirement home to sing carols and deliver gifts. They also go to the Living Nativity to give presents to the children and, afterwards, there is a parade through the village. People in the floats throw candies to the attendants.
The following day, a flamenco mass, tasting of typical dishes and a dance take place.
In the afternoon, the religious procession takes place and the fireworks put an end to the festival in Plaza de la Libertad Square.
Fiestas de San Antón (Festival of Saint Anthony the Abbot)
During the Spanish Civil War the image of Saint Anthony the Abbot was destroyed and in 1943, a commission was created in order to collect money to buy the present image of Saint Anthony the Abbot.
This festival takes place on January 17th and it is one of the more popular celebrations. It starts at 6 a.m. with a passacaglia at dawn by the Municipal Band and the neighbours, who walk noisily along the streets to wake everybody up.
At 10 a.m., a sermon is given and a mass is held. Right after, there is a feast in the Nave Polivalente for all the attendees.
In the afternoon, the procession in the honour of Saint Anthony the Abbot is celebrated and then, in the unequalled setting of Plaza de la Libertad square, the Fireworks Grand Finale puts an end to this traditional celebration.
Saint Anthony the Abbot brotherhood holds this celebration with the incomes obtained by the annual lottery, the donations of the neighbours and funds of Cuevas del Almanzora town hall.
Fiesta de Mulería (Festival in La Mulería)
This festival dates back more than 50 years and it used to be celebrated on February 2nd, but from the year 2006 on, it is celebrated on August 26th and 27th.
During the first day of celebration, children's games, sports and cultural activities (i.e. theatre) are developed and, in the evening, people can enjoy live music and dance.
The second and last day of celebrations, in the morning, a mass takes place and, at noon, there is a meal where people can taste the local typical dishes.
In the afternoon, the procession is celebrated in honour of the patron saint of the town, Virgin of Carmen, and then, to end up, there is a fireworks display.
Fiesta del Martinete (Festival of El Martinete)
It is a coexistence festival among the town inhabitants. It was first celebrated twelve years ago and since then, it takes place on February 28th, on Andalusia Day.
It starts at 8 a.m. with the passacaglia at dawn and a breakfast of chocolate with churros (sweet fritters). At midday, paella is prepared for the attendees and, in the afternoon, there is live music and dance.
Afterwards, and, in order to restore energy, a snack of typical embutidos (different kind of sausages) is tasted.
Fiesta de Convivencia en los Lobos (Festival of coexistence in Los Lobos)
It takes place on March 19th, Saint Joseph’s day, in honour to the patron saint of the town. It is a holiday, in which people meet to cook and taste a giant paella. There is also live music performed by an orchestra.
Pilgrimage of the Elderly
Originally, this pilgrimage was directed to the elderly of Cuevas but nowadays it has become a traditional festivity for everybody. Usually, it takes place the last weekend of April. It begins with a float parade from the Elderly Centre of Cuevas del Almanzora towards “La Olla” spot, where they camp the entire day. There, huge paella is made for all the attendees, that, in addition to this, they prepare their own picnics. As usual, the participants of the pilgrimage make a floral tribute to the Virgin of Carmen and sing the Salve Rociera (flamenco Hail Mary). Then, the party goes on with music and dance performed by a local group.
Pilgrimage Los Guiraos-Guazamara
It began in 1996. As usual, it is celebrated on the third Sunday of May. To collect money for organizing this pilgrimage, the commission organizes different activities such as the publication of an advertising book of the businesses in the area, or the sale of lottery tickets, amongst other activities. Furthermore, the Town Hall also contributes giving money for the orchestra, the local police, etc.
The Pilgrimage lasts three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. During these three days, different meals are prepared for the attendees such as paella, boiled potatoes with garlic and oil dressing or grilled sardines. On Sunday, a mass is said at 7 p.m in honour of the Virgin of Purísima Concepción. This Pilgrimage ends with hot chocolate and churros (sweet fritters) at midnight.
Fiestas de las Herrerías (Festival of Las Herrerias)
This festival takes place on June 15th, Corpus Christi Day. On this festival, the most remarkable events are: the mass, celebrated in the hermitage of Luis Siret, and the procession, in which all the children of the nearby parishes wear their Holy-Communion dresses.
Fiesta de Largo y Grima (Festival of Largo and Grima)
It is held by the two villages and it takes place on the last weekend of July.
On Friday, grilled sardines are prepared in Grima while the dance is held in El Ventorrillo. It is also in the latter, where on Saturday, games and children's activities take place.
At 7 p.m., the procession of the Virgin departures to Grima where people are received with cuerva (a kind of sangría: red wine with chopped fruit) that it is given to the people.
Then, at about 1 a.m., there is a great firework display and, on Sunday afternoon, a Mass is celebrated in Grima and there is a pilgrimage back to El Ventorrillo.
Fiestas de Palomares (Festival of Palomares)
This festival takes place at the beginning of August in honour to the saint patron of the town, the Virgin of Carmen.
On the first day, lots of tournaments: domino, pool, indoor football, and so on take place.
On the second day, it is held the gala election for both the children Queen and the youth Queen of the Festival.
On the third day, at about 11:30 a.m., there is a unique floral walk, in which the neighbours are dressed in regional costumes and carry flowers bouquets for the Virgin. It is on this day when the Feria del mediodia (midday fair) starts at the festival venue. There, people can taste the local typical dishes.
Every evening, live music is performed in the Plaza (square) as well.
On the morning of the last day, different contests are held and, in the evening, the procession in honour to the Virgin is held through the town. The festival finishes with a fireworks finale.
Fiestas de Lobos (Festival of Los Lobos)
It takes place the first weekend of August, in honour to the Virgin of Carmen.
It begins on Friday afternoon with lots of children's games and activities. In the evening, the gala election for the Queen of the Festival is celebrated in a portable disco located in the festival venue.
On Saturday morning, a boules contest takes place as well as some remote control car races and an indoor football championship, among others.
In the afternoon, the pilgrimage, with the images of the patron saint of the town, Saint Joseph and the Virging of Carmen, departures from Los Lobos to El Molino del Tarahal. There, an open-air mass is celebrated.
Back in Los Lobos, the attendees enjoy open-air dance and music enlivened with a duet.
At about 2 a.m. a lamb is raffled and at 5 a.m., Migas (a traditional dish with breadcrumbs) are cooked for the people who continue partying.
Sunday begins with the passacaglia at dawn.
Later on, there are quads and rural motorbikes races.
At noon, Paella is cooked to restore energy, so that people can participate in the ribbons and motorbikes races.
At 8 pm the procession takes places and so does the awards ceremony.
At about 1 a.m., and to finish off the celebrations, the fireworks finale display.
Fiestas de Villaricos (Festival of Villaricos)
This festival is more than a century old. It is celebrated in honour to the Virgin of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. The main day is August 15th, that starts at 7 p.m. with a wake-up call with music and rockets across the village, and the neighbours giving donations for the virgin.
At midday, a mass is celebrated in the church and then, there is a procession from the town to La Balsica fishing port. There, the celebrations committee and the musicians board the Virgin. The procession by boat begins along the coast up to la Dolores beach. This procession is accompanied with about thirty ships all festooned with papers and flowers. The boats turn around by the Dolores Beach and return to the Puerto de la Esperanza marina where they land the Virgin.
People continue the procession along the town to the Church.
At the church door, a bid is done to decide who enters the Virgin into the Church.
Fiestas de Pozo del Esparto (Festival of Pozo del Esparto)
It is a coexistence festival among the summer visitors. It takes place on August 14th and 15th.
In the afternoon of the first day, a parade takes place with all the children and adults disguised. In the evening, it is quite typical to make barbecues in houses gardens and at the beach. From 12 midnight on, the traditional bonfires are lit.
On Sunday, there are ribbons and sack races, where all participants receive prizes. A rock concert is organized to end this summer festival.
Fiestas de las Canalejas (Festival of Las Canalejas)
It takes place on the last weekend of August, in honour to Santa Ana (Saint Anne). It begins on Saturday evening in the town square, with grilled sardines and live dance and music performed by an orchestra.
On Sunday, there are children activities and games and, at noon, people are invited to taste paella. In the afternoon, the patron saint of the town is taken in procession through the most important town streets.
Fiestas del Calón (Festival of El Calón)
It is a festival coexistence among the families and visitors of this coastal enclave. It is celebrated on August 15th, in honour to the Virgin of Carmen.
In the afternoon, a parade with clowns, giants and big-headed figures takes place and, in the evening, it is usual to make barbecues in the houses gardens or at the beach.
Romería de Palomares (Palomares pilgrimage)
It began in 2003 and it was promoted by the Commission of the Brotherhood of the Virgin of Carmen. Usually, it takes place during the first week of September.
On Saturday morning the floats begin the procession behind the religious image of the Virgin of Carmen and pass through the entire village up to they arrive the known “Forest of Palomares”. There a Mass is said in honour of the Virgin of Carmen, and then paella is made for all the attendees. At night, the attendees are given the typical grilled sardines. Many of the attendees spend the night in this forest accompanied by the performance of a dance and music group.
Fiestas de Guazamara (Festival of Guazamara)
Festival of Guazamara takes place on October 7th in honour of the Virgin del Rosario although it is celebrated in the weekend closer to that date.
It starts with a parade with giant, big heads figures and a music band.
In the afternoon, there are children games and different sports and cultural activities (i.e. theatre).
In the evening, attendees can enjoy dancing and also the gala election for both the Queens of the Festival.
On Saturday morning, there are ribbons race and other children games. Afterwards, Feria del mediodia (midday fair) takes place in the village bars and best dishes are awarded.
In the afternoon, there are several activities: a beer competition, a motorbike rally with a quads race (best time awarded) and, also a bike ride and then a bike is raffled.
Feria de Cuevas del Almanzora (Cuevas del Almanzora fair)
It takes place in the mid of November, because on 13th November is celebrated San Diego de Alcalá’s saint, the patron saint of Cuevas del Almanzora.
The chupinazo (firing of a rocket) marks the start of the festival and every year a different celebrity launches it from the Town Hall’s balcony. Then, the lighting of the festival venue is carried out and one of the most important festivals in the East of Almería begins.
The festival venue is located in the surroundings of the Luis Siret park, which is dressed to the nines and decorated with rides, street vendor kiosks, snack bars and stands, where the local people and outsiders may enjoy the festive atmosphere.
At night, the warming welcome and the happy character of people is felt in the entire venue. The best live concerts and the most famous orchestras meet in the Nave Polivante. The stands, which have been decorated with typical items, are crowded with people who are willing to have a good time.
At midday, the festival venue becomes a meeting point for families, friends and women who wear the typical flamenco dresses and add the hint of colour to this festival. Everybody enjoys singing, dancing and tasting the typical dishes of the cuisine in Cuevas, that have been prepared with the greatest care and love by the members of the brotherhoods and associations that set up the stands.
We can also walk, visit and buy in the numerous street vendor kiosks that surprise people every year because of the great amount and variety of items they offer.
Fiestas de San Francisco Javier – Palomares. (Festival of Saint Francis Xavier. Palomares)
Festival of San Francisco Javier is celebrated on December 3th, day of San Francisco Javier, patron saint of the town. It is a day of coexistence among the inhabitants of the town, who join in the plaza (square) to prepare the meal with typical products that will, afterwards, be tasted.
In the afternoon, a mass and a procession take place and, in the evening, there is, usually, a music concert.
Fiestas de Burjulu (Festival of Burjulu)
It is celebrated on December 7th and 8th in honour to the Virgin of la Purísima Concepción.
On the first day, there is a passacaglia at dawn with the band and rockets.
In the afternoon, it is performed a surprise boxes race and a children's theatre.
In the evening, in the social hall, a dance enlivened by an orchestra and the election of the children and youth Queens of festival take place. Early in the morning, people are invited to eat bread and ham to restore energy and continue partying.
The following day, after the passacaglia at dawn, a mass is celebrated and, there is also a tasting of typical dishes.
In the afternoon, the Virgin of the Purísima leaves in solemn procession. There is a bid at the exit and entrance of the church to carry her.
In the evening and to finish the celebrations, there is a dance and a firework display.
Fiesta de las Maravillas (Festival of Our Lady of Wonders)
The brotherhood of Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas celebrates this festival, in honour of its saint patron, at Christmas, in the last week of December.
The image of Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas is a carved polychrome wood which can be found in one of the chapels of the church Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación. This image arrived in Cuevas in January 1942. It was brought by several local devotees, to replace the old 1757 image that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.
The brotherhood is financially sustained with the devotees’ donations and the cooperation of the town inhabitants who attend charity dinners, make trips, buy lottery, and so on. It is also deserved to be mentioned the support received by the Town Hall.
Since 1942, and uninterruptedly, the festival activities are carried out according to those proposed by the committee, to ensure everybody enjoy them.
Among these activities the following should be highlighted: the pyrotechnic exhibition, the traditional bid, a show, the brotherhood dinner, some parades with the Municipal Band of Cuevas del Almanzora and, finally, the crowded passacaglia at dawn.
The main day of the festival is New Year’s Eve, when all the acts in honour of the Virgin are celebrated.
At 11.30 a.m. there is an emotional flamenco mass in honour of the Virgin of las Maravillas. After the mass, the traditional bid takes place.
And, next, the brotherhood offers a dinner in the social hall, where people can enjoy a family environment.
At dusk, the solemn procession takes place, in which the image is carried through the streets of the town.
The arrival in the church is the turning point and it is quite emotional for lots of people who meet in the church to sing the traditional Hail Mary to the Virgin before she gets into the church.
In the evening, after the traditional 12 o’clock bells ringing, people meet in the social hall to celebrate New Year.