Traditional festivities begin in January with the Epiphany parade, with the Three Magi; Carnival will arrive in February; March and April receive the Holy Week; May becomes the month of the pilgrimage to El Rocío and the Glory processions; between May and June the Feria is held; August belongs to our Patroness, Our Lady St. Mary the Virgin of the Eagle (Virgen del Águila); September is Saint Matthew's (San Mateo), our Patron, with pilgrimage and procession. The year will get closed in December with the celebration of the Christmas festivities.
In all these activities you will find notes that make them different from others in its surroundings and that provide them a peculiar idiosyncrasy.Epiphany Parade (or the Three Magi's Parade)
The Magi Parade is of great tradition in Alcalá, backed by more than 50 years. But besides the celebration of day 5, the Association of Friends of the Three Magi, develop an ample calendar of activities all year round and specially in Christmas. At their headquarters, they organize children's parties, every year they publish a tale written by authors from Alcalá and put up a nativity scene of big dimensions, among other activities. On January 4 the Royal Heralds announce the arrival of Their Majesties and collect the letters from the children. Day 5 in the morning, the Kings do the traditional visits to charity entities and institutions. In the afternoon the parade goes out with 20 carriages, five music bands and hundreds of children and Bedouins. This association has an obvious social vocation, since every year they distribute hundreds of lots of toys to the children. The 6th, parades from the neighbourhoods get out. At the Silos zone it goes out in the afternoon. It has great tradition and goes over the zone streets distributing candies and gifts. At the East District there is also another parade recently created and that is becoming more and more popular each tear.Carnivals
Carnival Festivity returned to normality in the town in 1984 [Carnival Festivals were forbidden in Spain during Franco's dictatorship]. Since then it has been becoming the main Carnival celebration of Seville province. The contest of associations gathers groups from the whole region and it is the most important after Cádiz'. Comparsas and chirigotas [Both of them are kinds of groups that sing humorous and satirical songs during Carnival] compete with their jokes and their verses. The end of the contest is the sign for the start of the Carnival on the street with performances at the public squares and the Hornazo party at the Centro Park. The closing brochure is the great Carnival Parade, where thousands of people from Alcalá and other localities participate. Associations and groups of friends prepare their carriages and their disguises to go over the locality, finishing in the great Masks Ball.Holy Week
The town counts on one of the oldest religious traditions of the province. Its Holy Week has unique values that differentiate it from the ones of the surroundings. It is particularly striking everything around the Jesús Nazareno's Fraternity; it has a Roman cohort of its own, known as "los Judíos" ("the Jews") who go over the town since Maundy Thursday in the morning fluttering a flag and proclaiming Christ's sentence. Very early in the morning the Fraternity starts from Santiago to go over the town and arrive to the Bridge at dawn to remember Christ's Capture. From here, the Fraternity goes up the on the Monte Calvario (in Spanish, Mount Calvary), where San Roque's hermitage is and where three pasos (floats) meet: Jesús', San Juan's and Virgen del Socorro's (Our Lady of Help). They are the Carreritas de San Juan (Races of St. John). The Fraternity of the Saint Burial (Santo Entierro) has also a Roman cohort of its own and a singular allegorical float of the Triumph of the Cross on Death, the popular "Canina" [Popular name given to Death, meaning extremely thin]. The Holy Week counts besides with processions on Palm Sunday (Fraternities of La Borriquita and El Rosario), Holy Tuesday (Fraternity of El Perdón), Holy Wednesday (Fraternity of El Cautivo) and the Maundy or Holy Thursday (Fraternity of La Amargura). The Fraternity of El Soberano Poder has been recently incorporated; it goes on procession on Passion's Saturday, before Palm Sunday. All this has a special soundtrack, that given by the saeta from Alcalá (saeta alcalareña). Alcalá's Holy Week has been declared as of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia.May Processions
Month of May in our town is full of processions. On the first Sunday the Virgen del Dulce Nombre (Our Lady of the Sweet Name) goes out in procession from San Sebastián. She goes on a golden, eye-catching float and accompanied by a music band. On 24 it is [Our Lady the Virgin] María Auxiliadora's procession turn, being many people from Alcalá very devote to Her; she goes on procession from the Salesian School. She is accompanied by Saint John Bosco and Saint Dominic Savio floats. All the floats are carried by former Salesian pupils. The present school pupils go in the procession with their First Holy Communion suits and dresses and/or in Flamenco dresses and outfits. Besides, several fraternities organize "May Crosses" (Cruces de Mayo).Feria
In the last weekend of May and during 4 days, the Feria of Alcalá de Guadaíra is held, at San Juan Fairground located at an easily accessible environment and of singular beauty, as its background is made up by the Oromana Forest. There are more than eighty stands or casetas, where activity is constant and the Municipal Stand programs performances continuously. Best decorated casetas are awarded and a beautiful horse riding can be enjoyed, especially on Sunday.Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi [Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ] is celebrated with a solemn procession that Jesús Fraternity organizes and that goes out from Santiago. The Blessed Sacrament goes on a golden custody and is carried by costaleros [bearers of religious images during processions]. Also in the procession goes a valuable sculpture of Inmaculata. Alcalá's Fraternities take part in the entourage that goes over downtown streets, carpeted with sedges. Along the route, fraternities and private persons install altars where the procession stops.Day of Nuestra Señora del Águila (Our Lady of the Eagle). Festivities honouring our Saint Patroness
The day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Saint Patroness of the town, St. Mary of the Eagle (Santa María del Águila) goes out in procession. The route is very beautiful, beginning and ending in the St. Mary Church placed in the Castle and going out just when the Sun sets. Our lady goes on a beautiful silver throne ornated with nards and sticks of jasmines that a group of women enrich it with more flowers, giving shape to a peculiar way of handicraft. At the feet of the Virgin, there are living doves.Festivities of San Matthew (San Mateo), Patron of the town
The nearest Sunday to Saint Matthew's day (September 21), the Patron's Fraternity, organizes the pilgrimage. It is a day when carriages are prepared and decorated Andalusian style, it is typical to see horse riders wearing their best clothes and in general to all the pilgrims arranging to meet at the outskirts of Alcalá to enjoy a day all together. On Saint Matthew's day, September 21, the town Patron's image goes out in procession on a float or paso from the Church of the Inmaculata.Christmas
Christmas fills the town with activity. Streets are decorated and groups of campanilleros walk along them, singing. Shops and Stores organize activities to make shopping more attractive. Many of the activities have the children like main protagonists. Classical appointments are the Zambombá or the Music in the Temples cycle that takes the churches of the locality as stages for a cycle of classical and Christmas music. Besides, during these days you can visit the nativity scenes that associations, fraternities, individuals and parish churches set up.