History, tradition, light, and sight. The Magdalena Festivities return one more year to commemorate the founding origins of Castello de la Plana, a vibrant city that remembers through its more popular festivities the mythology, the folklore and the customs of a place that has a legacy to take care of..,
These festivities, which have been declared of International Tourist Interest since 2010, remember the time when the city moved from the Magdalena hill to the fertile plain coast, where is currently located since 1251. Even so, these celebrations were not the main ones until 1945, when they were given a new form. For this reason, this year, the Magdalena Festivities, which will take place from March 23 to 31, are 75 years old.
The elements on which the whole celebration is assembled are the ‘Gaiatas’, monuments that have lighting as the main protagonist. This symbol returns to the origins to remind the citizens who, with their lanterns, went down to what is now known as Castelló. The term ‘Gaiata’, in addition to referring to the monument itself, also includes the people who make its existence possible, the so-called Commission, and the area to which they belong, the sector. Currently, the city has 19 Gaiatas.
Officially, these festivities begin on the third Saturday of Lent with the Pregón Parade, a popular and ethnological demonstration highlighting the mythology, history, Customs and folklore of the city and its province. This parade runs through the streets of the city centre and is the Queen of the Fiestas, accompanied by the Herald, who is in charge of closing this event.
The big day of the fiestas is the next day, Sunday, when one of the most emotional events takes place, the Romería de las Cañas (The Reed Pilgrimage). This begins with the pilgrimage of thousands of people to the Hermitage of La Magdalena, located on the hill of the same name, and ends with their return to the city, in the same way, that they did those who lived there, in the 13th century. This year, on Sunday, March 24, this ritual will take place on a day that is baptized with the very famous name of ‘Magdalena, festa plena’.
That same day is also the Gaiatas parade, popularly known as”La Procesó (The Procession). In it, the 19 commissions show their’ gaiatas ‘ to the people through the streets of the city accompanied by a music band that performs only the Rotllo i Canya, the official anthem of the festivities. The procession ends with the appearance of the “Gaiata De La Ciutat” and the “Gaiata Mayor”, winner of the contest of the previous year, accompanied by the ladies of the city and the children’s Queen, the ladies of the city and the Queen of the Festival and the members of the festivities board.
The so-called Monday of Magdalena closes the trilogy of more protocolary days and opens the way to a week of fiestas much freer and more participative. This day takes place the Pregón Infantil, the launch of the first contest mascletà and the only public visit organized per year to “El Fadrí” by the “Colla el Pixaví”.
Throughout the nine days, many events that are more festive are held, some of them will continue for several days. Concerts, pyrotechnic shows, animation companies, international musical groups, awards, floral offerings… all of this is part of an extensive program that fills every corner with parties. In addition, you can enjoy the Tapa and Beer Inn (Mesón de la Tapa y la Cerveza), the Wine Inn (Mesón del Vino), the Craft Beer Inn (Mesón de la Cerveza Artesanal), the Gastronomic Market, the Fair of Regional Houses, the Alternative Fair, and food trucks.
New this year
Magdalena 2019 brings several innovations, such as the International Gastronomic Fair of plaza Notario Más, where culinary products from all parts of the world can be tasted. In this way, the city council proposes a sensory trip for those who dare to taste the most international dishes. On the other hand, there will also be the Flamenco Fair, where southern gastronomy, flamenco performances, and Andalusian art will be the protagonists.