Tres Cruces Festival (Almogía, Cártama, Álora y Pizarra). May. Unique Festival
For many verdiales experts, this expression is the oldest fandango in the province of Málaga. They come from an olive-producing region called Verdiales—whose influence later spread to other parts of Andalusia—and are thought to have strong Moorish origins. This Moorish influence is not only perceived in some specific dance forms but also the peculiar violins, cymbals, almirez (metallic mortars), castanets and tambourines accompaniment in some of its primordial local styles. They are clearly an Arabic-Andalusian fandango that absorbed some flamenco traits at a precise moment, due to nearby influences.
Since the 18th century, there has been a hermitage in the so-called “Las Tres Cruces”. This hermitage was used for the religious purposes of several parishioners, whose boundaries met at a point with the municipalities of Almogía, Álora, Cártama and Pizarra. This meeting point is a must-see destination for flamenco lovers as it is the origin of one of the three styles that set the verdiales apart, one of the oldest expressions of Málaga's traditional culture. Genuinely from Málaga, there are three distinct styles in the province belonging to other areas: Almogía, Montes and Comares.
On the first Sunday in May, the “Festival de la Ermita de las Tres Cruces” (Three Crosses Hermitage Festival) is held in the vicinity of the sanctuary where the four municipalities meet. The fiesta starts with the arrival of the pandas de verdiales (verdiales group of musicians), whose members are wearing their original costumes, and large hats festooned with bright coloured ribbons and a myriad of tiny ornaments.
During the day, people from the four municipalities, along with a large number of visitors, spend the day enjoying the pandas’ performances and tasting local food and wine.