May festivities in Villamayor de CalatravaVillamayor de Calatrava (Ciudad Real)GPS: 38.78799819946289, -4.13730001449585
Ya estamos a treinta del abril cumplido, alégrate maya, que Mayo ha venido(April 30th already ended, cheer upmaya, asMay has come in). May singing, which tradition was once spread over many Spanish regions, has stayed alive with a distinctive beauty in Villamayor de Calatrava. It also preserves its essential features: On April 30that night, singers and musicians start with their hymn of praise to the Virgin, and then serenade around the streets of the village, as it was already done in the 17thcentury, when themayos–youngsters from the village – serenaded themayas–marriageable young girls -.
But the festivities do not end here. On May 1stthere is a pilgrimage with the Rosario Virgin, who walks along 11 kilometers from Villamayor de Calatrava to meet Saint Joseph image, who comes on a pilgrimage from Tirteafuera. Not at any place, but right in the middle of the riverbed. And all that preceded by a stopover on the way, where they eat the traditionalmigas manchegas(La Mancha-style fried bread crumbs).
As a spectacular finale, the following day, on May 2nd, the Virgin is taken on a procession around Villamayor under the unique arches with interwoven branches, in which they intersperse oranges. In her passing, hunters fire powder salvo. But what is undoubtedly the most spectacular feature is the salt-colored carpet, reproducing shapes and drawings that, more than 50 meters long, salute the Virgin passing by. Locals stay the previous night awake to make it.
Festivity of Regional Tourist Interest.
Picture: Jesús Monroy.
DATE OF CELEBRATION:
In the night on April 30thand May 1stand 2nd.
May singing to the Virgin, which is the starting event of the festivity, is especially passionate and is performed at the church with a large attendance. It is advisable to go well in advance.