There are many festivals in Andalucia throughout the year, but the most famous Spanish fiestas are the religious processions of Semana Santa, the week leading up to Easter. 

In Granada these are held every afternoon and evening during the holiday from Palm Sunday till Easter Saturday and there are no fees to see the processions. Some are actually most exciting when they are on their way home after passing the Cathedral, when they are lit by hundreds of candles and even bonfires.

Also in Granada is 'The Day of the Cross' on 3rd of May, when each quarter, or barrio, of the city sets up a cross which is decorated with flowers, copper pots and embroidered shawls. Walking round the old town is a great opportunity to see lovely flamenco dresses and the famous horses of Andalusia.

In Orgiva there is an astonishing fiesta, ‘The Day of the Lord’, two weeks before Easter Good Friday.  Though this is a religious celebration it is also the excuse for incredible firework displays, both beautiful and noisy, some of it resembling an artillery bombardment. There is also San Sebastian, the patron saint of Orgiva on January 20th. The procession starts and ends at the Hermitage, the beautiful little octagonal chapel in sight of the house, and the wonderful fireworks explode just over our courtyard.

In several villages the feast of St Mark is the occasion for parading all the animals round the streets and then to church for a blessing. Horses, mules, cows, sheep and goats all go to church!

Summer fiestas include:- the rather wet fiesta of John the Baptist in Lanjaron on June 24th, re-enactions of the battles between Moors and Christians, the sailing of the Virgin del Carmen with the fishing fleet, July 16th. The pilgrimage to La Virgen de las Nieves, Our Lady of the Snows, is on August 5th on the top of Mulhacen, the highest mountain in Andalucia.  One contrary village even celebrates New Year in August!  Many of these fiestas are accompanied by spectacular firework displays, for which Andalucia is famous.

"Fantastic – couldn’t cope with the exploding church though " - Richard Hermon