April. Fiestas de la Primavera, Murcia,and Bando de la Huerta
What's on Murcia, Spring Fiestas, Fiestas de la Primavera
The glorious Fiestas de la Primavera take place in Murcia between the 4th and the 11thth of April, celebrating the arrival of Spring and the end of the abstinence of lent, comprising the Bando de la Huerta which is from the 4th-7th and then the Entierro de la sardina, the burying of the sardine, between the 8th and the 11th..
Murcia is known as the vegetable garden of Spain, the Huerta of Spain, as it has traditionally been an area of intensive agricultural cultivation, providing sweet, fresh food for the rest of the country.
Occupied by arabs for hundreds of years, Murcia learnt the secrets of harvesting and managing water, discovering how to dig wells, make irrigation channels and watermills, create underground storage systems and to cultivate the plants which are symbolic of the fruitfulness of this region, dates, palms, almonds and figs.
The traditions of our Huertas were passed down through the generations and this Festival celebrates the best of Murcian traditions, bringing food, flowers, costumes and colour to the streets of the city.
The week starts on the Sunday with a few events and builds up on the Monday, with the grand parade of the Bando de la Huerta on the Tuesday and the parade of spring flowers on the Wednesday.
The main day for the celebrations is Tuesday 6th April, the day of the "Bando de la Huerta" on which the whole city dons country costumes and thousands of people from outlying districts pack the streets with gorgeously decorated horses and carriages, the big procession of the Huerta taking place at 5pm
As the week moves on, we progress smoothly into the fiestas of the burial of the sardine, the Entierro de la sardine, in which spectacular and fantastical costumes take to the streets for the burning, not the burial of the sardine.
One of the main features of the spring fiestas is the installation of what are known as Barracas. These are booths serving up the best of Murcian cuisine in tasty little dishes of tapas, the funds raised from the sale of the food helping to fund the fiestas. They're all over the city in the gardens and public parks, and you'll come across them wherever there's a spot of green on the map, but the best known are in the Jardines de Malecon and by the Plaza Cruz Roja, both of which run along the banks of the river, straight through the centre of Murcia.
The nearest place for parking is the underground car park righ by Puente Viejo, which is a straight 2 minute run from the main Murcia Autovia, just follow Centro Ciudad, stay on the right, and as you go past Puente Viejo you'll see the car park immediately on your right. If this is full, carry on along the riverbank and you'll see another further down. Alternatively, you can park at the Centrofama shopping centre or in the Plaza de la Universidad, which are about a 10 minute walk from the riverbank.
Sunday 4th April
11-3pm. Exhibition of aero modelling. Click for Leisure and active pursuits.
12 Midday. Official opening of the Barracas across the city.
Gala of Folklore music given by the Conservatorio de danza de Murcia.
Free entry, in the Jardin de la Seda
Click for map, Jardin de la Seda, Murcia
In the Glorieta de Espana ( by the Town hall on the riverbank)
Titeres y Marionetas
Free puppet and marionette show, entitled "Garbancito", little chick pea.
Monday 5th April
11am , Jardin del Salitre
Click for Jardin del Salitre
Offering of a wreath of flowers by the Queen of the fiestas at the monument of the Huertano.
5pm.Plaza Santa Domingo
Childrens’ spectacular, given by the Ronald McDonald childrens’ foundation.
6pm. The childrens parade of the Bando de la Huerta.
Music, folk and a celebration of the spring. The children of Murcia put on their folk costumes, and parade through the streets of Murcia.
It’s a charming procession, the costumes are adorable, and this is a real family occasion in which a vast number of people participate, many carrying flowers for the floral offering which takes place afterwards in the Plaza Belluga. There are some floats, dressed with flowers.
Route; Avda. GutiérrezMellado, Avda. Alfonso X el Sabio,Pza. Sto. Domingo, C/ Alejandro Séiquer, Pza. Cetina, C/ Isidoro de la Cierva, C/ Pintor Villacis, Pza. Ceballos, C/ Ceballos and Avda.Teniente Flomesta, finalising in the Glorieta de Espana.
( Link to Plaza Santa Domingo,Plaza Santa Domingo from here you can follow the route and pick where you want to stand.)
8pm. Plaza Belluga,Plaza Belluga
Floral Offering to the Virgin of Fuensanta.
10pm, Parking of the Old Condomina ( Aparcamiento del Viejo Condomina, by Plaza de toros.)Click for Plaza de Toros.
Sponsored by the Radio Station, Los 40 Principales, featuring Maldita Nerea and a host of other acts, including María Villalón, Vanesa Martín, Georgina,
Efecto Pasillo and El Pacto.
10pm. In the Teatro Bernal, at El Palmar, just outside Murcia.
XXIII International competition of Tunas.
A tuna is not a fish on this occasion, it’s a type of musical group, which plays a traditional folk music. It’s very popular, and this competition attracts participants from all over Spain, as well as from Portugal, Mexico and Peru.
This first night is very much a gala night with a few speeches and presentations, followed by lots of folk music. Later on in the week, the groups perform in Murcia on several occasions, with a parade of the participating groups on Friday 9th.
Tuesday 6th April.
Day of the Bando de la Huerta.
This is a big holiday in Murcia, and thousands of people take to the streets dressed in traditional folk costumes. There is folk music playing all over the place, many people come in from the surrounding areas on horseback and pulling carriages, the Barracas are packed with friends and families enjoying tapas and a few drinks, and the whole day is about celebrating the huerta traditions of Murcias past. Come into Murcia and just enjoy the atmosphere, watch the folk dancing in the streets, join in with the eating and drinking in the Barracas throughout the gardens of Murcia, and watch the big parade of the Huerta with horses and carriages, floats and flowers.
10am. Plaza Belluga, Misa Huertana.
Click Plaza Belluga for map
This is what’s known as a countryside mass and is given in honour of the Virgin of Fuensanta, the patron of the city. Many of the participants will be costumed, there’s music and singing as part of the mass, and afterwards the figure of the Virgin is carried around the Cathedral and Centre of Murcia accompanied by musicians and a crowd of people.
12 Midday, Plaza Romea
Fiesta, Cadena 100.
Live music and entertainment by pop idol David Andreu, and other invited acts, free entry.
2pm. Plaza Circular, Gran tronaera. Lots of racket. These are very noisy fireworks.
2pm Parking of the Viejo Condomina, next to Plaza de Toros.
Click for Plaza de Toros.
Sponsored by Estrella Levante beer, entertainments zone for the family with table football, bouncy castles etc
At 4pm the music starts with live music from Varry Brava, The Leadings and other contemporary pop groups.
5pm. The Big Parade, the Desfile del Bando de la Huerta.
This is a large parade with horses and carriages, flower-covered floats, and thousands of people in costume, celebrating the Huertas of Murcia.
This starts on one side of the river, then crosses over via Puente Viejo, near to the gardens of Malecon where a lot of people go to enjoy their tapas, so we've put a link to Avenida Canalejas and you pick up the route either side of there. Avenida Canalejas
Avda. S. Juan de la Cruz, C/ Mozart, C/ Torre deRomo, C/ Sacerdotes Hnos. Cerón,
Alda. Colón, Avda. Canalejas,Pza. Camachos, Puente Viejo,Pza. Martínez Tornel, Gran Vía
Salzillo, Pza. Fuensanta,Avda. Constitución, Pza. Circular,Avda. Alfonso X el Sabio,Avda. Gutiérrez Mellado and finishing in Avda. José Tapia Sanz.
8pm. Cuartel de Artilleria.
Free concert with Los Malos, Santi Campillo, Raimundo Amador
9pm. Plaza Circular.
Big Firework display.
Wednesday 7th April
This is not an official holiday, but is classed as the last day of the Fiestas de Primavera, before it becomes the entierro de la Sardina.
The main events today are the procession of the flowers followed by the consumption of 15,000 Pastel de Carne, murcian meat pies. We’ve posted a full article about this as it’s such a major event for murcians. Click here for Pastel de Carne.
Procession of the Primavera, 6pm.
Departure from Avenida. Alfonso X el Sabio, Plaza. Santo. Domingo, Calle Alejandro Séiquer, Plaza. Cetina,
Calle Isidoro de la Cierva, Calle Pintor Villacis, Plaza. Ceballos, Calle Ceballos and Avenida. Teniente
Flomesta , finishing up in front of the Glorieta de España. ( In front of the Town Hall on the riverbank.)
7pm. Homenaje al pastel de Carne,
Homage to the great Murcian meat pie.
6pm. El Corte Ingles, Avenida de la Libertad.
Performance of Folk music by the “Tunas”. Tunas are musical folk groups and there is a competition taking place all week with tunas from all over the world.
10pm. Pergola de San Basilio
Click for Iglesia de San Basilio,
More performances from the tunas.
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