On the 15th May every year the festival of San Isidro takes place in Nerja. This is probably the most popular day of the year for most Nerjeños, when the whole town seems to decamp to the park surrounding the Maro caves and to party until the very early hours.
The festival is in honour of Isidro, a farm labourer, who in legend received divine assistance to perform his work. As a result he has become the patron saint of farm workers and other labourers in many Spanish speaking countries.
The day begins with a service in the El Salvador church on the Balcon de Europa. Then the real fun starts, with a parade from the Balcon to the caves near Maro. The procession takes about three hours to reach its destination and is made up of dozens of carts, carriages, horses, oxen, tractors and other forms of transport. All are colourfully decorated, and the Nerjeños equally so, the women in beautiful dresses, the men in smart riding gear or traditional farmer’s outfits. Everyone makes a huge effort for the day. As the procession proceeds the wine flows, and as the wine flows the music tempts many to dance their way to Maro.
At Maro the party really starts. Music is everywhere and families and friends share picnics, barbecues and more wine and beer, followed by dancing and singing until late into the night.
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Click here to see the full photo gallery for the 2013 San Isidro Festival.
A good spot to watch the procession is down at Plaza Cavana at one of the cafe bars.
Time Table Of Events San Isidro Nerja 2014
14th of May 2014
Live music in the evening at the Ermita de San Isidro by the Nerja Caves.
15th Of May 2014
11am Mass in the El Salvador Church on the Balcon de Europa with the Peña Nerjeña Choir
12pm Midday “Homenage to the workers” Singing and dancing at the entrance to the church followed by the “Romería” where the ox-drawn carts make their way to the Nerja Caves, starting at Calle Diputación. The tractors and other vehicles depart from the corner of Castilla Pérez and El Barrio. All vehicles have to have advance permission from the local police to take part.
2.30pm Arrival at the caves.
3.00pm The “Verbena” starts in the official Caseta at the Caves.
5pm Prize giving ceremony.
5.30pm The Verbena and the party continue.
12am Midnight – End of the Verbena
Times are subject to confirmation.
If you don’t want to walk all the way from Nerja to the Caves and back, there is a special bus service that will run throughout the day.
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St Isidro brilliant pictures, just as we remember this wonderful day!
by Roger Hines
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