FESTIVITIES

CARNIVAL

TThe Carnival in Chipiona takes place in February or March, depending on the date of Easter. It constitutes “the party of the townsfolk”, with parades, parties, music and song. Our Carnival has a great relevancy for us, and everybody lets their hair down and dresses up in costume. Though the official duration is ten days, various activities take place up to a month earlier, with free local products on offer in different clubs and bars in the town.

After 1936, when the Civil war left Chipiona in misery and its inhabitants suffering shortages of even the most basic necessities, Carnival was prohibited by Franco’s dictatorship. Nevertheless, the songs of Chipiona poet José Miranda de Sardi continued to be sung at family gatherings, and from the ‘60s onwards they were sung in the clandestine Carnivals organized in the Castle and in the Lighthouse.

The Carnival made a welcome reappearance in 1984, thanks to the Mayor of the town Miguel Valdés who took the risk of reinstating the celebration of Carnival, which got bigger and more adventurous each year, and made it into what it is today.

Carnival ends with the world-famous fancy-dress parade, the “Great Cavalcade of Humour”. The whole population gets involved, offering an authentic spectacle of wonderful light and colour.

PILGRIMAGE OF EL PINAR – June

This popular festival dates back to a country feast that was celebrated in the 1940s at the end of the Harvest. Today it is a Pilgrimage, known as a “Romería”. The festivities begin on the Thursday before the Sunday of the Pilgrimage, when a statue of the “Virgen de Regla del Pinar” is carried from the small church in the “Pinar” up to the Sanctuary in the town.

This statue is distinguished from the original “Virgen de Regla” by the pine cone that the Baby Jesus has in his hand.

On Sunday, the “Virgen de Regla del Pinar” leaves the Sanctuary on a wagon taken by oxen, crossing four kilometres up to the hermitage, accompanied by pilgrims on horseback or riding in wagons. A Mass is celebrated outside the church when the Virgin returns.

Around the hermitage the “Casetas” (marquees) spring to life, the celebrations start, and from Friday to Sunday the air is filled with the sound of songs of the “Sevillanas”.

NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL CARMEN – July

This is the Sailors’ Festival. History tells us that summer begins on 16 July, the day of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Patron Saint of Sailors, when the waters were blessed and the statue of the “Virgen del Carmen” is brought out in a colourful procession.

Nowadays this is the first celebration of the summer, when a party is commemorated in the neighbourhoods of the Marine District on the 14th, 15th and 16th of July.

The celebration is concluded with a large fireworks display.

MOSCATEL FESTIVAL – August

The purpose of this fiesta is to celebrate the production and promotion of Moscatel, Chipiona’s most famous wine.

Many of the most important singers in Spain have performed at this festival, such as Rocío Jurado, Karina, Raphael, Lola Flores, Lorenzo Santamaría, Massiel Mari Trini, Mike Kennedy, Ángela Carrasco, Alberto Cortés, Mª Dolores Pradera, José Mercé, Orishas, and Pasión Vega- Carnival performances, Flamenco shows and popular dances complete the spectacles in the days before the grape harvest.

OUR LADY OF REGLA FESTIVAL – September

Celebrated between the 4th and 8th of September, this festival signifies for many people the end of the summer season.

The Town Hall offers different performances every day. The closing of the festival takes place on the 8th with a procession of the “Virgin of Regla” around the town and a great Fireworks party that takes place at midnight on the beach “Playa de Regla”.

SAN MIGUEL (PATRON SAINT OF CHIPIONA) – 29th September

San Miguel, or St Michael, has been the Saint of Chipiona since August 7th 1656. This festival took place for the first time in 1881 when the City Council decided to honour the acts of the saint on his Holy Day.

PALMICHA – Last week of September

This festival has been celebrated for some decades in the Pinar de la Villa during the last week of September. Here you can watch the beautiful equestrian shows and enjoy the day along with family, friends and other townsfolk.

TODOS LOS SANTOS -1st November

All Saints Day”. The famous Lisbon earthquake occurred at 9 a.m. on 1st November 1755, and was felt in many parts of Spain. The Sanctuary “Santuario de Regla” suffered the consequences of this disaster, being flooded by the waters that destroyed the Sanctuary’s protective wall.

In memory of this natural disaster the Prior Father ordered a painting, depicting on the left side the community before the altar of the “Virgen de Regla” and on the right the same community going in procession to the nearby Chapel, “la Capilla del Humilladero”.

The flood waters also reached some of Chipiona’s streets. According to legend, the townsfolk were in procession with a statue of Christ, the “Cristo de las Misericordias” heading to the “Cruz del Mar”, when the waters retreated. Since then, every 1st November the statue of Christ is taken in procession to this same place.

For many years 1st November was one of the more important local holidays of the calendar. Traders used to set up their stalls in “Calle Isaac Peral” a series of fruit stalls that gave a festive aspect to the town. This made it possible to consume a variety of fruits and products that you could not normally find in Chipiona, or were not easy to obtain for the rest of the year. This activity was known by the name of “Tosantos”. This custom has become a tradition, and now takes place in the Plaza Pío XII.