This festival began as an event to honour the “Virgen Blanca” (White Virgin) and has been celebrated since at least the end of the 18th century. The main figure, the “Celedón“, is the symbol of this “fiesta“, represents a peasant of that time, Celedonio, who was always surrounded by a lot of invited friends.
Since 1957 there has been a rag representation of Celedón´s descent form the belfry of the church of San Miguel and across the Virgen Banca square towards a balcony where a “real ” Celedón is waiting for him. The latter walks with difficulty through the overflowing square whilst being drenched with cava (white wine) by the rest of the crowd. This signals the beginning of the Fiesta and you have to be there on the 4th of August at 6 pm if you do not want to miss it.
The procession of the “Rosario de los Faroles” (Lanterns), which represent each of the sacred mysteries begins at 10 am. On the streets of the city, the rosary is recited at the head of the procession. Early on the 5th, day of the patron of the city, it is the procession and the mass for the Virgin.
For a period of more than five days a lot of activities and events are held in this interesting city: including theater, street bands, regional dances, folklore shows, Basque sports, puppets, carnival figures and during the hours of darkness, groups of musicians all around the city. And of course, people dressed in traditional costumes and groups of “blusas” (blouse) everywhere.
The culmination of the programme is the way back of the Celedón which takes place in the Virgen Blanca Square, on the 10th at 1 am.
Really a fantastic festival with a great atmosphere recommended for all kind of ages. You should know it.