Fiesta Diary

Information on what to expect at different times of the year and the various Fiestas that are held in the Towns and Villages.

January 

What to expect? 

January is generally a dry month with a chance of a few light showers occasionally but mostly there are clear blue skies during the day. The temperature is likely to be around 22 degrees, so an opportunity to do a spot of sunbathing or being outdoors in your T-shirts. The evenings cool quickly as the skies are clear so you will need sweaters and jackets. At full moon it is quite light and at new moon the stars are a fabulous sight. Occasionally there is overnight frost which is gone by 9 o’clock. The days seem longer here with the sun setting around 6ish. 

What’s happening? 

In Spain the most important day over the Christmas period is January 6th. This is the day the three Kings visited baby Jesus with gifts. In Spain the Christmas presents are opened on this day, not December 25th. In all the villages there is a procession with men dressed as the three kings riding on donkeys and showering the children with sweets. This is usually the night of the 5th. In Higuera de la Sierra, a village 10km away there is a grand procession that is televised throughout Andalucia. People from all over the province come to witness the beautiful spectacle of decorated floats and thrones depicting the birth of Christ. 

Later in the month there is a Fiesta for the olives in Zufre, a beautiful village set in top of a mountain which is just 15km away. You can sample and buy the olives and olive oil as well as join in with the singing and dancing. 

February 

What to expect? 

February is usually very similar to January with slightly higher daytime temperatures and longer days. The evenings are still chilly once the sun sets but you will find the daytime temperatures good for walking in the Sierras. 

What’s happening? 

There are a number of carnivals in February across the local region. The last week in February is Semana de Andalucía. This is a week long celebration of Andalucía and there are many events and exhibition of Andalucian culture to visit. 

 

March 

What to expect?

March is the perfect month to start off your tan, and also for walking along one of the many trails or ‘senderos’. The temperatures in the daytime can easily reach 30 and the evenings begin to be more pleasant and much longer.  

What’s happening? 

More carnivals to celebrate spring and the last week this year is the start of Semana Santa. This is the week long celebrations before Easter and is famous across the whole of Spain. In the major cities like Seville there are grand processions daily culminating in the Good Friday parades which start at 10 in the evening and carry on throughout the night. They are spectacular and guests who have enjoyed the evening have described it as unforgettable. Here in Aracena there are also daily and evening processions with floral decorated thrones depicting the events leading up to the crucifixion of Christ. Although not on such a grand scale they are nevertheless impressive. 

April 

What to expect? 

April is much warmer both during the day and in the nights. The spring flowers are lush and the scenery peppered with pinks, purples, yellows and rich green. Good sunbathing weather without the burning heat of full summer. 

What’s happening? 

The final processions of Semana Santa are at the beginning of the month. There is no Easter Monday here in Spain. In Santa Olallo del Cala (a village some 15km away) there is a two day fiesta celebrating the Iberico Pork, famous to this region. The last week sees more fiestas celebrating spring. In Puerta del Guzman there is an incredible horse festival where over 1000 horses with traditionally dressed riders parade up the main street. It is a magnificent sight. The village is about 50km from Corteconcepcion. 

May 

What to expect? 

Beautiful really warm sunny days are the norm. Not too hot, but really pleasant for long ambling walks in the Sierra, or maybe pony trekking for a few hours in the mountains. The evenings are warm and the days are lengthening. 

What’s happening?  

May sees the start of the romerias which are day long events. Huge processions begin at a number of focal points and merge together at a strategic meeting point. All the people dress in traditional clothing and arrive on foot, on horseback or flambuoyantly decorated horse drawn floats. Amazing sights with so much colour.   In Aracena the bi Saturday local band concerts start towards the end of May and these are held outdoors starting after 10pm.  Always well attended, these events give a true flavour of the love of music in Spain.

June 

What to expect? 

Hot sunny days with blue, blue skies and warm summery evenings. Good sunbathing weather but don’t stay out too long and put on plenty of sun protection as it is strong here. In the mountains the air is clear and we are a good few degrees cooler at night than Seville where temperatures can reach 40+ in June

What’s happening? 

In our village there is the Fiesta de San Juan (John the Baptist) which starts around June 23 each year. There is music, ad hoc classical guitar playing, Spanish singing and dancing and if you feel confident, a fire to jump over. On the Sunday a Church Service is held outdoors with a band procession around the village after. The streets are lined with Rosemary and pine and the smell is beautiful. A floral throne is carried round the village and the priest stops and gives communion to those who are unable to come to the service due to illness of immobility. 

July 

What to expect? 

This is usually the hottest month of the year, but due to our location in the mountains it cools in the night to allow a good night’s sleep. Temperatures in the day can reach 40+ so it is a good idea to wake up early, and have a siesta in the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest. The long evenings are really pleasant and no need for cardigans this month. 

What’s happening? 

Again, another month of village fiestas. In the castle in Aracena there is a week of traditional music with different performances each evening. Artists come from across Spain to perform in this magical setting. The bi weekly band concerts in Aracena move to the beautiful park which is  perfect setting for music in the evening after a meal at one of the many restaurants that run along the adjacent street. More fiestas to celebrate summer in the villages surrounding Aracena and these tend to last 3 – 4 days. 

August 

What to expect? 

Much the same as July, but a couple of degrees cooler in general.  Siestas are still recommended as you will need your stamina for the many local fiestas. 

What’s happening? 

In Corteconcepcion the main fiesta – La Feria de la Camino takes place on mid August. A huge castle style gate is erected at the entrance and street bars and restaurants too. There is live music and fun activities for both adults and children. Whole families attend from Great Granma to the newest arrival, and each evening doesn’t end until the late early hours!! 

August is also the month for rural festivals such as the music festivals, melon festivasl and the vegetable slaughter festival. Very different from what you will experience elsewhere. 

September 

What to expect? 

The temperatures are cooling but are still likely to hit 30+ occasionally and mostly in the late 20s. The evenings are still warm and pleasant and eating outside is just lovely. All the local bars and restaurants have outside seating and they never rush you, so you can relax and enjoy. 

What’s happening? 

the fiesta season is still in full swing. The Spanish just love to be outdoors and have a party. Noted festivals are held in here in our village, Cortegana, Aroche, Cala, Linares and Alajar, but there are a number of smaller ones and many horse fairs too. 

October 

What to expect? 

October can be variable but is still predominantly warm, Still warm in the evenings but a cardigan or jacket will be needed. 

With the advent of a little rain come the mushrooms or Setas in Spanish. There are hundreds of varieties and they are a speciality of the area. Weekenders from Seville and Huelva arrive with their traditional wicker baskets and spend the whole day searching and often digging out special mushrooms, stopping only for a barbecue at lunchtime. They really are very different in taste and texture but you need to know, or ‘know a man who knows’ which are edible and which are not. Locals willingly help if you are in doubt. 

What’s happening? 

October is the annual Andalucian Jamon (Ham) festival, which is held in Aracena. Traders and visitors come from across the province to taste and buy the black jamon. The festival lasts 4 days but is only open to the public on the last two. Here you can buy plates of jamon or chorizo with fresh chunks of bread and eat it al fresco. You can buy the legs of jamon to take home which will last years if hung, if you don’t eat it all at once! 

In Almonastar there is a large Moorish community and the Fiesta del Islamica is held  mid September and is unique in this region. A very different fiesta with a unique atmosphere. 

November 

What to expect? 

There is a likelihood of a little rain in November but usually it only lasts for three to four days at a time. The temperatures will be 23-28 when the sun does shine so still a good possibility of achieving a sunglow. It is also perfect weather for walking during the daytime and although cooler in the evenings, it is still possible to sit out till gone 9 with just a thin sweater.  
 
What’s happening? 

Locally there is the' new' wine fiesta on the first of the Month which is also All Saint's day and a  national holiday. Each year it seems to be a glorious day with families picnicking among the trees. The Mosto (new wine) is notoriously strong but appears harmless until it is too late, so be warned! 

In Aracena there is an Art exhibition held annually to show off new artists and their work. 

December 

What to expect? 

Cooling off in the daytime, although two or three days a week it reaches about 30 in the sun. However, the nights can be chilly so jackets and coats are needed in the evenings and night time if you are out. It can rain a little in December but generally not too much. 

What’s happening? 

December 6, 8, 24, and 25 are national holidays. The 24th is predominantly a family day where families join together to celebrate Buena Noche (Christmas Eve). They have a special meal together lasting from 3pm to bedtime. Christmas day is when people go to church to celebrate the birth of Christ but it is not  the biggest day at Christmas. In our village and surrounding locality, Christmas is not the commercial event it is in the UK. Only a small number of lights are erected in the village streets and there are few shops or offices decorated. In the weekends leading up to Christmas there are cheese and cold meat Fairs in the town where local producers display and sell their wares which also include olive oil, honey and mushrooms.