San Isidro Festival

15th May

“Federación de Peñas de San Isidro” (federation of San Isidro organised groups taking part in the great Float Parade and the Flower Offering).


Useful information:
Families, couples, individual/ Ideal to enjoy wine culture, craft work and the agricultural past of Yecla.

One detail:
San Isidro Festival is a festivity of Regional Tourist Interest.

Remarkable information:
Cultural activities such as the Flower Offering, the Procession and bonfire in Santa Barbara’s neighbourhood and the most important one: the great Float Parade (“Cabalgata de Carrozas”) which is carried out on the Saturday afternoon closest to 15th May, which is San Isidro saint’s day. You can also visit a peña of San Isidro (the organized groups that participate in the festival).

For further information:

It recommends you:
“The first thing the tourist deciding to come and see our festivals and festivities should do is to visit Yecla and enjoy our Float Route (Ruta de Carrozas) and one of the peñas (organized groups) of San Isidro to see first-hand how a float is elaborated.

Then, he will be able to enjoy our cuisine and wines in any of our establishments and restaurant businesses associated with Yecla Wine Route.

Depending on the day the tourist decides to come and visit us, he will have a broad selection of cultural activities, concerts, folklore festivals, wine tastings…etc. Most importantly, he will be able to enjoy the main events and activities we organize, by reflecting through them the agricultural origin of our town, always accompanied with our traditional clothes.”
Pedro J. Azorin. President of the “Federación de Peñas de San Isidro” (federation of San Isidro organised groups)

Historical background of San Isidro Festival:
The devotion to the patron saint of farmers has been present over more than three centuries. Everything points to the fact that the worship and devotion to San Isidro in Yecla began with the creation of the Real Empresa de Iluminación de Aguas de San Isidro (a company dedicated to underground water extraction in the surroundings of the “Cerrico de la Fuente”) in 1816.

It has been argued that the devotion to San Isidro in Yecla started in the 18th century, although no evidences have been found until today to prove it. In this regard, Ortuño Palao and Ortiz Marco, claim that the current San Isidro street in Yecla was already called like this in the mid-18th century, even though this street wasn’t on the town map of the last quarter of the century, as it was located on the outskirts of the town. They also assert that there was a chapel dedicated to that devotion, which was built during that century. It has been also pointed out that it began to be built in 1710. As they haven’t indicated the sources on which such statements are based on, the different testimonies haven’t been compared. They still remain in doubt, since there aren’t any data in the documents regarding the 18th century. On the occasion of the setting up of the Real Empresa de Iluminación de Aguas de San Isidro between 1816 and 1818, the first documented image of the patron saint in Yecla was elaborated and later placed in 1818 in an old alcove located in one of the chapels of Santa Bárbara Chapel.

The inhabitants of Yecla, most of them farmers, preserved their devotion to the patron saint during the 18th and 19th centuries by showing it through different ways. Evidence of this can be found in the sculpture in the Basílica of la Purísima and in folk songs and lyrics.

The order in 1943 of the new sculpture of San Isidro Labrador on the part of the Hermandad Sindical de Labradores y Ganaderos de Yecla (a union brotherhood of farmers and ranchers from Yecla) bolstered the worship of the patron saint in Yecla, and initiated the festivities in honour of San Isidro. The 15th May 1945 was the first occasion in Yecla when the image of the patron saint was carried in procession, being the origin of the current San Isidro festival in our town.

In the year 1952 and for the first time in Yecla, the great Float Parade (Cabalgata de Carrozas) with decorated and harnessed horses and their corresponding farmers was started together with the well-known Battle of Flowers (Batalla de Flores) during which lots of flowers, sweets, confetti and streamers were thrown from the floats and balconies.

The election of The Queen of San Isidro Festival and her six maids of honour, has been celebrated since 1958, with the exception of the years 1977 and 1978, when the festivities in honour of San Isidro weren’t held; since 1979 the junior queen of the festivities is also chosen together with her maids of honour.

Regarding the festival’s announcement, during the first years a poet was requested to write a poem so that it could be read aloud before the parade; thus, Martin Martí Font published in 1960, 1961 and 1965 several popular narrative poems.

The first proclamation of the festival was delivered in a public event in 1962 by Don Miguel Ortuño Palao, official chronicler of the town and academician of The Royal Academy Alfonso X The Wise.