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Feast of Corpus Christi. Yunquera. June. Unique Festival

Diputación de Málaga

Feast of Corpus Christi. Yunquera. June. Unique Festival

This celebration has been designated a festivity of tourist interest by the County Council of Málaga.

Before coming to this event check the date of its celebration at the Town Hall or the town's Tourist Information Centre

This local festival is dedicated to the Feast of Corpus Christi, and it is celebrated in the village of Sierra de las Nieves. The festival is designated a Unique Festivity of Tourist Interest in the province by the County Council of Málaga. More precisely, the Corpus Christi is on the Thursday following the ninth Sunday after the first full moon that appears in the northern hemisphere in spring. In some countries, the date of the festival has been changed and it is celebrated on Sunday, which is usually not a working day.

According to a popular proverb, there are three holy Thursdays in a year which are 'shinier than a Sun': Maundy Thursday, Corpus Christi and the the Feast of the Assumption.  In Yunquera, this festival has been celebrated for ages.

Origins of the Celebration

The Feast of Corpus Christy is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church on the Thursday that follows the eight day after Pentecost, which celebrates the Holy Trinity, in solemn commemoration of the Eucharist.

Beginning of the Feast of Corpus Christi

Juliana of Retinnes, who became Saint Juliana of Liège and was also called Juliana of Mount-Cornillon, was the promoter of this feast. In Spain, the Feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated rather soon. The first city where it took place was Barcelona in 1319. Moreover, it was Pope Pius X who established this festivity all over Spain as a feast in the both Precepts on request of the Spanish episcopate after it had been cancelled by himself on the 2nd of July 1911.

The Feast of Corpus Christi in Yunquera Today

This festival has always been part of the people who live in this town, as well as their pride and their town's identity.

The Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated with processions during which volunteers, devoted people and the parish parade and carry the Blessed Christ (Jesús Sacramentado) as the King of kings under a canopy, together with the Holy Sacrament from the 18th century, which is owned by the parish church. The procession goes along the main streets of the village past fourteen altars called tables or rest points (mesas, descansos), where the priest gives the inhabitants or sick people his blessing.

As for the streets, they look like a green canopy that consists of hundred arches made of palm leaves, and which is decorated with flowers, cards and posters with allegorical texts and prayers to the Holy Sacrament.  On the walls you can see some poplar or other branches. Windows are decorated with flower pots and their bars with oleanders, ferns and colourful flowers. Finally, on the balconies, there are crocheted bedspreads and embroidered shawls carefully made of the best cloths, as in the past when people used to wait for the kings and queens to parade or in the scene of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

Ferns and mastic thymes on the ground grow every year to give a special scent and colour to this festival. The idea is to re-create the image of Jerusalem, the City of God, as it was described in the Book of the Apocalypse in order to welcome Blessed Jesus, the King of kings, who is 'really present in a holy host'. Some people follow the custom to take a mastic thyme branch from every altar that the Holy Christ went past and blessed it, and keep it in their homes for the rest of the year.

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