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Festive celebrations and leisure activities





In addition to the National Holy days in the calendar, Jaén is known for its own original local festivities, perfect for local people and visitors to have fun in an atmosphere full of joy and happiness. 

16th January: San Antón Bonfires In many of Jaén’s squares you can see huge bonfires; they are offerings to Saint Antonio Abad, Patron Saint of the animals. People dance around the fire listening to “Melenchones”, typical San Antón songs and eat roasted pumpkins or traditional “rosetas” (popcorn) amongst other local products. The popular Urban International San Antón night race also takes place on this day, where elite international athletes meet. Due to cultural and sporting interests, it was declared an Asset of Tourist Interest.

San Antón bonfires

March-April: Holy Week Jaen’s Holy Week has been declared a National Tourist Interest. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday we can admire the Holy Week processions of the 16 brotherhood of the city on the streets. The oldest one dates back to 1546. The processions go through the streets of the historical centre of the city, following an official route. In those processions we can feel the emotion of the devotees and admire the precious spectacle of music, devotion and tradition. We can highlight the procession on the morning of Good Friday, performed by the popular brotherhood of Our Father Jesus of Nazareth; they carry the image (a religious sculpture) of the “Abuelo” (Grandfather). For more information visit this link

Our Father  Jesús of Nazareth

Other celebrations

February Carnival. Parades, competitions and popular festivals.

The last week of April. The departure and welcome of the devotees that make a pilgrimage towards Cabezo’s Hill, in the village of Andujar to go to Virgen de la Cabeza Sanctuary. There is also a Parade in the street performed by the brotherhood of Colomera, this parade is a very old popular tradition. 

3rd May: Cross Day.  Exhibitions of monuments and crosses built with flowers are displayed in the city’s squares and courtyards. There are also childrens processions around the city.

Second Sunday of May “Arroz Christ’s Pilgrimage” In the natural site “Fuente de la Peña”, located on the outskirts of the city. Festivals, devotion and processions take place in the popular hermitage.

 Charcales Christ

Corpus. A solemn Eucharistic procession departs from the Cathedral carrying a majestic religious image (sculpture). This image is a replica of Juan Ruiz called “El Vandalino”, it dates back to the 16th century.

11th June: Festival of Nuestra Señora de la Capilla, patroness of the city Some celebrations take place around the city for several days, for instance San Ildefonso Quarter festival and the Solemn Mass attended by the Cathedral chapter and the Town Council, flowers are offered to the patroness and processions.

Nuestra Señora de la Capilla Floral Tribute

In summer there are festivals in some quarters of the city. 

First Sunday of September: Divine Sheperd “Divina Pastora” Festivals. San Ildefonso’s quarter, whose origins date back to the 16th century, organises several parades, a Mass and some processions. A competition called “revoleo of flags” a funny way to test your physical skills also takes place on this day.

Divina Pastora

Third Sunday of December. White Virgin Pilgrimage. A popular festival celebrated in the hermitage of La Inmora, in the outskirts of the city, the origins of this festival date back to the 16th century.

October- December. Autumn Festival.  This is an outstanding cultural event. The most important artists of music, opera, theatre, jazz, poetry and dance come to Jaén to enjoy this great festival. The city becomes a huge stage where concerts and cultural performances take place; they represent the modernity of this cultural city. It is one of the most prestigious festivals of the country. The festival is a member of The Spanish Association of Classical Music Festivals and also of the European Festival Association.

Programme at  www.festivalotoñ

Autumn Festival Concert

18th October: San Lucas Fair. The fairground “Alcalde Alfonso Sancho” houses a lot of “casetas” (Fair Booths) where you can dance and party. They belong to companies or to private individuals. They are open to anyone that wants to enjoy them and have fun. Lots of cultural events are celebrated, as well as bullfights.

25th November: Saint Catalina Pilgrimage. People meet in Santa Catalina’s Castle to go to Mass and enjoy a picnic. Grilled sardines are typical.


Saint Catalina

(Pictures: Town Hall of Jaén and Association of Brotherhoods of the city)