The fiesta most commonly celebrated in the Alpujarras is San Marcos, in Springtime on 25 April. In many villages the local people get together for picnics in the countryside, often they’ll walk in large informal processions (romerias) and in some villages, Berchules for example, the procession is enlivened as the farmers bring their cows, horses, mules and donkeys to accompany them.
In Orgiva, during Lent , the fiesta of Cristo de la Expiracion is an important event, and in Lanjaron the fiesta of San Juan on 23 June is extraordinary; the alleyways are awash with water and you’ll never see as much ham.
Throughout the Alpujarra there are annual re-enactments of the battles between the Moors and the Christians. Everyone dresses in extravant costumes, caparisoned horses, muskets at the ready and the village square becomes a battleground. Traditionally the Moors win the first part of the action and in the second the Christians. Throught the summer months these events take place in Laroles, Juviles, Trevelez, Bubion, Albondon, Cherin, Jorairatar and Picena, on the villages’ patron saint’s day. The most spectacular is in Valor on 15 September.
In the Marquesado, the string of villages on the north side of the Sierra Nevada, bullfights are held annually in travelling rings set up in the village squares. In Jerez 8 September, in Lanteira 19 September, in Dolar 30 November, in Cogollos de Guadix………and in Guejar Sierra 15 August. Laujar de Andarax has its own permanent bullring.
In Cadiar, in the Autumn, there is a fiesta to celebrate the end of the grape harvest. There is a fountain in the main square that literally flows with wine. There is also a Chestnut fiesta in November and in December there is the annual pig slaughter, and preparation and eating of all the traditional hams, sausages and preserved meats.
In Torviscon on 17 of January there is a huge public bonfire and a powerful aroma of roast pork. Here the local people raffle a pig which they’ve been fattening up between them.
Finally, the Summer procession, on 5 August, which takes the statue of the Virgen de las Nieves (the Virgin of the Snows) from the village of Trevelez to the summit of the peninsula’s highest mountain Mulhacen. A shorter less strenuous procession travels the route from Ohanes to the Santuario de Tices on 15 August.