Vintages and Agricultural Fairs


The origins of many religious festivities can be traced to important events during the agricultural year. Activities like planting, harvestomg. vintage gathering, or slaughters have left their imprints, as subtle as they may be, on all the cities. The most significant dates are still San Isidro, patron saint of the field workers; San Miguel, which coincides with many live stock fairs, and San Martín, the traditional day for slaughtering pigs.

There are several pilgrimages near San Isidro, in the province of Malaga, in the towns of Archidona, Ardales, Nerja, Alcaucín and Benamocarra; in Guadix, Cogollos-Vega and Cadiar, in Granada, as well as numerous towns in Cadiz and Jaen. The Vintage fairs, which take place around the end of August, celebrate the gathering of grapes and the extractions of the first new wine. The vinateges fairs of Montilla (Cordoba), Jerez or Sherry (Cadiz), and La Palma del Condado (Huelva) are very characteristic. The premier agricultural fair in Granada is the Virgen de las Angustias, the city's patroness. There are important live stock fairs held in Jubrique, Malaga and Santaella (Cordova) sales are still actions made by word of mouth, without paperwork.

A special variety is presented by the traditional fairs and games where the bull is the protagonist. The bull is teased or harassed in an open field, fought in the ring, or run through the streets of the town. In one very extended variety of these customs, the so called in the streets. This tradition is very popular in Cadiz which is home to many of the most historically important breeders of fighting bulls. The circuit begins with the Toro del Aguardiente in Puerto Serrano; Toro del Aleluya, in Arcos de la Frontera; Toro de la Peá, in Vejer; Lunes del Toro, in Grazalema; Toro de la Cuerda, in Benaocaz and the Toro de la Soga, in San Roque.

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