The Farewell (La Despedía). Álora. Easter. Unique Festival
This festival has been declared to be of Tourist Interest by the Provincial Council of Málaga.
Please check with the local Town Hall or Municipal Tourism Office for the festival date before planning any sightseeing activities.
For centuries Álora has been one of the main towns in the Guadalhorce region, where some of the most influential cultures in the Mediterranean have left their mark. Its deep-rooted history offers a vast Artistic Heritage consisting of a splendid Arab castle, magnificent churches and winding streets steeped in tradition.
The Arab imprint on the municipality's urban landscape brings a unique charm to the steep streets leading to the castle. The towers of this fortress stand out. They were once watchtowers overseeing the movement of men and goods towards the inland and through the lands of Bobastro. Now they rise above the town, which is discreetly located among two small promontories and the impressive Mount Hacho. The nature site of El Chorro offers spectacular landscapes in the Sierra de Huma mountains and in the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, where the famous Caminito del Rey lies—it was first opened at the beginning of the 20th century by King Alfonso XIII.
In this town in Malaga, all the charms of a setting such as Álora can be enjoyed. Popular celebrations play an essential role within the municipality, which uniquely experiences Holy Week. Their deep-rooted Brotherhood feeling can be seen at its spectacular best during this Week when locals take to the streets. After the Pollinica procession on Palm Sunday, the Estudiantes one on Holy Tuesday, and the Via Crucis on Wednesday, the main parades will start on Maundy Thursday with the Dolores Coronada, Amor, Estudiantes and Nazareno de las Torres. However, the most awaited event by all will take place on Good Friday, shortly after 2 p.m. This is, of course, La Despedía (The Farewell), which is fervently awaited for the entire year.
On Good Friday, around 2 p.m., a crowd gathers in the impressive most ancient square in town, the Plaza Baja de La Despedía. From there, they will contemplate most of the float bearers withdrawing from the rods until only eight people remain in charge of carrying out the genuflections (at the sign of the Mayordomo) that will gradually approach their tronos (floats)—the Señor de las Torres and the Virgen de los Dolores. At night, all the morning joy turns into mourning, and everybody silently accompanies the Piedad, Santo Entierro, Ánimas and Soledad processions.
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