The Fair and Festivities of la Magdalena are the biggest festivity in Castellón de la Plana. In them the origins of the city are commemorated, remembering the transfer of the city from the hill of the Magdalena to the fertile coastal plane in 1251.
Declared of international tourist interest in 2010, have a duration of 9 days and are celebrated from the third Saturday of Lent.
The Magdalena festivities tell the story of the founding of Castellón, so it is necessary to know the history of the city and the legend that surrounds it in order to understand correctly the meaning of the festivity and its meaning in the daily life of the city.
With the years and the pacification of the zone, the Castle was abandoned, reason why the frequent visits between the two population centers no longer took place. Taking advantage of its ruins, a hermit friar from the nearby Carmelite monastery of the Desert of ‘Las Palmas’ settled and began his cult and dedication in honor of ‘Santa María Magdalena’. His death was very felt by the population of Castellón, who attended a pilgrimage to celebrate his last farewell. On the way back it began to rain heavily, which reminded them of the legend of the transfer and they decided to build a hermitage in honor of the saint and to celebrate prayers in times of drought and needs, marked by a strong religious feeling in full Lenten time. The later discovery of ‘Nuestra Señora del Lledó’ by Perot de Granyana and the construction of numerous hermitages closer to the village nucleus made decay the devotion to the Magdalena, which was only resorted in stages of serious importunios.
On the night of the day when the Magdalena rogation was held, it was customary to parade through the streets of the town small rudimentary “gaiatas” similar to those of the legend that represented the different population centers of the area far from the walled city. In the fifteenth century a “gaiata” of greater size and more monumental paid by the ‘jurats’ of the city of Valencia commemorating the extension of the privileges of that city to Castellón was built, which was popularly called “Gaiata del Micalet” of València “.