How would you define the real, true Spain? Well, the answer is probably by its festivals and carnivals. No one enjoying a villa holiday in the region can truly say they’ve experienced the ‘real’ Spain until they’ve visited and participated in one of the area’s many festivals. The local fiesta is a celebration: it’s the moment when every town and village pulls together to put on a special show for the residents and visitors to admire and enjoy. There are over 3,000 fiestas, fairs, pilgrimages, carnivals and religious festivals celebrated every year throughout Andalusia. Here’s a guide to some of the major fiestas & events that take place every year in and around Mijas, Costa del sol.
Three Kings, “Fiesta de Los Reyes”
This is the moment when the three kings of Orient, the three wise men bring their Christmas presents to the children, on the evening of the 6th of January, a public holiday throughout Spain. Three men dress up as the kings and ride about the town in a procession, scattering sweets to the crowds of excited children. The parades start at 5pm in Mijas Pueblo, Las Lagunas and La Cala de Mijas and are followed by Christmas markets in Virgin de la Peña plaza, Plaza San Valentin, Las Lagunas and the main boulevard in La Cala de Mijas.
Easter – Semana Santa
The Easter week processions in Mijas are very pretty, atmospheric and well worth visiting. The parade leaves the village church and winds slowly around the narrow, cobbled streets, carrying statues of Christ on the Cross and a mourning Virgin Mary. The Semana Santa is a special celebration: the costumes are elaborately decorated and so is the village. However, it’s worth noting that this is a serious religious celebration so drinking is frowned upon and no fireworks are permitted. The processions take place during the week leading up to Easter Sunday. The best days to attend are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Saturday. Easter Sunday itself is celebrated, but the celebration generally is more low-key.
Mijas International Day
Mijas International Day is a multicultural festival celebrating diversity. The festival is usually held on the third Saturday in May. It celebrates the world’s cultures and gives residents and visitors the chance to learn about other nations. People dress in traditional clothing, there is dancing, music and a great atmosphere. There are stalls for each country where you can try traditional food and drink. International Day is generally regarded as one of the best and most enjoyable festivals of the year.
La Noche de San Juan
The night of San Juan usually falls on the 23rd or 24th of June, but sometimes the celebrations can take place over a few days. This is the celebration of the longest night of the year and the beginning of summer. At midnight in San Sebastian Street in Mijas Village there is a spectacular fireworks display that can be seen for miles around.
The Mijas Feria is an event that many neighbouring towns and villages attend. Each year between 7 and 12 September, the village is lavishly decked out to celebrate its annual feria. The whole village participates in the festivities in honour of the town’s patron, the Virgen de la Peña. The festivals and ferias of Las Lagunas and La Cala (25 July) are also well attended and worth a visit.