en honor de Santa Eulalia
(Festivals in honour of Saint Eulalia)
(December 8, 9 and 10)
festivals begin with a pilgrimage in which the image
of 'Santa Eulalia'
is taken from the retreat
in the mountain to that of 'San Roque'
the image is taken to the church of 'Santiago'
(Saint James), when a procession also takes place.
This pilgrimage dates back to the seventeenth
century when people from Totana and other places,
attracted by news of the many miracles performed
by the Saint, began to go along to the mountain
retreat. As the place itself was gloomy and
it was a cold time of year, the people sheltered
inside the retreat, where stewards brought them
food and drink, and they spent the night singing
Now, as in the past, on the night before, people
from Totana and the surrounding area, who hold a
special affection for both the mountain and the
Saint, arrange to meet at the foot of the mountain
to spend the night in good company and to enjoy
'migas' (a typical hearty dish of fried
breadcrumbs) and good wine whilst they wait for
daybreak. The image is taken out of the retreat
by bearers, who carry it on their shoulders, in
the early hours of the morning. Barefoot devotees
and merry pilgrims show their devotion to the Saint
by accompanying her on her journey with euphoric
religious chants, which can only be heard at times
The journey of the Saint through 'Los Huertos'
is charming and emotive, especially when the followers
draw near to the image and cheer her in passing,
whilst those who carry the Saint give out sweets
to the people who have spent a long night outdoors.
The pilgrimage continues in this fashion until it
arrives at a place, which has long since been known
as 'El Rulo', where the image is received
by the townspeople and the civil and ecclesiastical
dignitaries alike, who then accompany their patron
to the end of her pilgrimage, which is found at
the retreat of 'San Roque'.
de la Santa
(Pilgrimage of the Saint)
is the date on which the people of Totana hold their
traditional pilgrimage when the image of 'Santa
Eulalia', accompanied by a great procession,
is returned to her retreat in the mountains from
the parish church of 'Santiago' (Saint
The festivities begin early in the morning at nine
o'clock when both pilgrims and local dignitaries,
in the same state of excitement, commence the pilgrimage
towards the retreat. Once they arrive at 'El
Rulo', the authorities bid goodbye to the Saint,
whilst the pilgrims continue their ascent of the
mountain, all the way singing and dancing to the
sound of guitars and castanets and, more importantly,
drinking 'mantellina' to keep out the cold.
Once at the summit, they prepare themselves for
the descent with a typical dish of rice and rabbit,
which is cooked and eaten al fresco.
After having been forgotten about for many years,
this festival has made a significant comeback. Groups
of people dress up and act out street theatre accompanied
by musicians, in what was traditionally an attempt
to brighten the cold month of February before the
beginning of Lent. The great procession of 'peñas'
(groups) and street musicians, which takes place
on the Saturday afternoon, forms an important part
of these typically lively celebrations.
This festival takes place on April 25, with the
day traditionally being spent in the countryside
and people enjoy the typical dish of 'garabazos'.
starts with Easter. This long-standing and traditional
religious festival is vibrant and colourful and
the people of Totana expectantly await its coming
and the opportunities it affords to don hoods and
tunics and to take part in the processions or simply
to watch their passing from squares and balconies.
The bands of drums and horn players lend an air
of solemnity to the occasion. Another special feature
of Easter Week are the 'Armaos', a group
formed in the eighteenth century by 'Don Alonso
Ramón Cánovas'. This group was
initially made up of eighteen men, all from important
families of Totana, and they dressed according to
the Roman fashion, and today this same group escorts
the thrones of 'Nuestro Padre Jesús'
(Jesus Our Father) and 'El Santo Sepulcro'
(The Holy Tomb) in the procession which takes place
on the night of Good Friday. Totana takes on an
air of special beauty during these spring days and
it makes a splendid setting for the numerous processions
that take place during the week. A great many of
the inhabitants of Totana take part in the Easter
celebrations, there are sixteen brotherhoods, some
of which date back to the eighteenth century, with
more than 3000 members in all, of which 390 are
female. These women belong to 'Nuestra Señora
de la Esperanza' (Our Lady of Hope) and they
take part in the Silent Procession on the Wednesday
before Easter arrayed in the Español mantilla and
scapular and they carry a rosary and a short staff.
Also dating back many years are the processions
which take place on the Thursday before Easter and
Good Friday. The brotherhoods carry adorned thrones
and images such as that of 'Nuestra Señora
de los Dolores' (Our Lady of Sorrow) which
has a beautiful robe embroidered in gold and is
accompanied by a marching band made up of violins,
wind and percussion instruments. The standards,
some of which are extremely old, are carried before
the thrones and they lend a splash of colour to
the proceedings. The festivities in Totana come
to an end on Easter Sunday, with an emotive procession
which depicts the Resurrection.
These festivals have been declared of 'Interés
Turístico Regional' (of special interest
to visitors to the region).
honor al Patron Santiago Apóstol
(Festivals in honour of Patron Saint James the Apostle)
(July 23, 24 and 25)
Traditionally, cultural events of great prestige
are held in Totana during these few days such as
the famous musical 'Certamen Internacional de
Habaneras' (International Contest of Habaneras)
in which choirs from different parts of the region
participate. There are also religious celebrations,
of which the most important is undoubtedly the procession
of the patron saint.
Religious acts take place at this time of year
which culminate in the procession of the Saint.
There are also cultural and traditional celebrations
such as the popular open-air parties which create
a highly festive atmosphere.