Carrera de Cintas a Caballo (Ribbon Race on Horseback). Fuente de Piedra. September. 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.
In the north of Málaga, Fuente de Piedra shares borders with the municipalities of Sierra de Yeguas, Humilladero, Antequera, and La Roda de Andalucía in the province of Seville.
The Laguna de Fuente de Piedra Nature Reserve is among the most outstanding tourist attractions in the municipality. This Protected Natural Area is of extraordinary importance for the nesting of many bird species. Flamingos are a case in point. Every year, from the very start of spring until well into summer, they fly over to the Fuente de Piedra saltwater lake for breeding purposes.
Tourism is clearly consolidated by the village's landscapes, but festivals and traditions also play an essential role. Coinciding with the festivities of the patron saint of Fuente de Piedra (Nuestra Señora de las Virtudes), the Ribbon Race on Horseback festival is celebrated in September. Its origins go back to the festive medieval "Tournaments" (coronation, marriage links, warrior victories) held to entertain both nobles and villagers, as well as keep knights trained and in shape.
The medieval tournaments included many different games and sports. Originally, the object of the Ribbon Race on Horseback was to successfully get the spear tip into any of the metal rings hanging from ribbons. The competing knights would choose a lady to whom they presented their triumphs. If she accepted him as her "champion", she would tie his handkerchief on her arm. This medieval sport is reproduced at the present festival in Fuente de Piedra, which commences with a procession of horse carts that parade through the streets to pick up the "manolas"—the current ladies—and take them to the race starting point. Once they are in the box, they use their mantillas to adorn its front side. This offers a spectacular scene, soaked in colour and beauty.
And then the race begins. The riders will keep trying to introduce the spear through the ring of the chosen ribbon until a successful attempt is made, followed by the ribbon offering to the ladies box