This is a very traditional festival in Yecla, mainly known for its panes benditos (blessed buns), which are decorated by hand; afterwards they are baked and finally, we place “pajaricas” (colourful paper birds made with bars and strips of paper) and small figures of putty made of flour, water and boiled potatoes representing different motifs: flowers, birds, hats…etc, on them.
It’s a festival which has a long tradition in Spain. In Yecla this tradition was recovered in 1977 and it is held on the 5th of January with a great parade together with fireworks. During the parade, lots of toys are delivered to the children and a big competition is organised for them.
The celebration has a great historical tradition in Spain. Currently, during the carnival’s days people disguise themselves, a float parade is organised together with “chirigotas” and jokes satirizing celebrities from social and cultural life. In addition, a masked ball where the participants are dressed in costumes is organised. One of the most striking attractions is the burning of Don Carnal, which takes place on Shrove Tuesday.
Other popular festivals are Saint Antonio Abad (17th January) when animals are blessed and processions are held along the streets of the town. It’s also worth mentioning the festival of the Virgen de la Aurora (28th January) for its long history, of more than two centuries. During this festival, the Cofradía de los Auroros (a brotherhood), which is formed by farmers and men of the countryside, pray and sing early in the morning in the streets of the town until the break of dawn, a moment in which they attend the commemorative mass.