Feast of St. Sebastian. Algarrobo. January. 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.
This small municipality extends over a territory where the mountains of La Axarquía begin to soften their edges before forming their coastal profile. Algarrobo-Sayalonga River runs from the north to the south through a valley where the landscape has undergone a significant change due to the introduction of the cultivation of vegetables and subtropical products. So now the gentle hills are giving way to the field terraces where once there used to be all vineyards, and olive and almond trees.
This is a uniquely enchanting village. Walking through its steep streets, the visitor will find niches on many façades—customarily used to worship the saints—and enjoy magnificent views from the numerous viewpoints.
After the expulsion of the Moorish that populated the region, religious events in honour of Saint Sebastian (patron saint of the municipality) are celebrated in Algarrobo, in memory of the resurgence of Christianity. This third-century Roman Christian martyr, born in Narbonne (256-258) and Captain of the Praetorian Guard in Rome, helped the Christians and merited from Pope Gaius the title of defender of the Church.
Throughout history, worshipping this martyred saint has become very popular. And so has the events held in Algarrobo to commemorate the patron saint. They start on the Saturday before the feast day when the saint's image is carried from its hermitage, located in the upper area, all the way to Santa Ana parish. That's where the festivities begin with the celebration of a solemn triduum in honour of the patron saint.
The 20th of January is the big day for the locals who are celebrating the feast day of Saint Sebastian. The hustle and bustle begins by mid-morning with the celebration of a traditional open-air, and everyone is invited to attend. Not only will there be some meditative moments, but also some of the regional food and drinks.
At sunset, the saint's image is carried back to the hermitage through the streets of the village with a fireworks display in the background—as was done first on the way down.
Both the life-size image and the beauty of the procession make it a very different ceremony from those existent in other locations of Malaga.