The procession with the Virgen de los Rondeles. / R. REGLAÑO

Traditional festivities in honour of the Virgen de los Rondeles

The festival, held from 9 to 12 December, has been celebrated in Casarabonela for more than 300 years

Tony Bryant
TONY BRYANT

Casarabonela is getting ready to celebrate one of its oldest traditions, the Fiesta de la Virgen de los Rondeles. This traditional festival, held between Friday 9 and Monday 12 December, has been held in the Sierra de las Nieves town for more than 300 years.

The event offers a multitude of activities, including a Christmas market, a culinary tour, guided tours and entertainment.

The main event is the procession in honour of the Virgin, which takes place on 12 December. The procession leaves the hermitage of Veracruz at 10pm and continues to the Santiago Apóstol Church, where songs are sung and chocolate and churros are distributed among the participants.

The parade dates back to the beginning of the 18th century, when local millers decided to honour the Virgen de los Rondeles for a particularly good harvest by burning their rondels – esparto baskets used to carry olives to the mills.

The millers began using them as torches, and they have since become the hallmark of the festivities, illuminating the procession from the icon's temple along the darkened streets to the church square, where the celebrations are held.

The activities begin on Friday with a photographic exhibition of the Los Rondeles tradition, along with a tapas route offering Moorish gastronomy.

The festive market is inaugurated at midday on Saturday and will be followed by an afternoon of live entertainment and children's activities.

A special gastronomic tour offering traditional cuisine of Casarabonela, organised by the Friends of the Rondeles Association, will take place in the square from midday on Sunday.