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Seville Traditions

Seville Monuments

Each year, as springtime approaches, Seville begins to prepare for its holyweek festivities. Few cities preserve their traditions intact to the extent that Seville does. From the start of the holy week right through to the end of the April fair, the street is the stage of festivities.

Corpus Christi
Few cities preserve their traditions intact to the extent that Seville does, particularly when it comes to religious celebrations.

The Corpus Christi procession bears witness to this, congregating thousands of worshippers in the streets of Seville, carpeted with rushes and rosemary for the passing of the Body of Christ. In the early hours of the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, people flock to the cathedral and the area around it to take part in this festival that commemorates the institution of the Eucharist. The celebration of the Corpus Christi, which has preserved its popular character, is an expression of faith, a synthesis of devotion, simplifying mysteries of faith, the body and the bread, the blood and the wine.

For the Corpus Christi celebration, a group of children, known as the Seises, sing and dance in the cathedral on the day of the festival and the eight days following it. The costumes that they wear and the songs that they sing date back to the 16th century.

"Velá" de Santiago y Santa Ana
The end of July signals an important date on the other side of the river. The Velá de Santiago y Santa Ana is one of the traditions that best identifies the Triana quarter. In spite of the hot weather at this time of year, people flock to the Altozano area for a festival that is mainly celebrated by night.

Virgen de los Reyes
Another big day for the city is 15 August, when a huge number of people from the city and from other towns and villages in the province gather in the area around Seville Cathedral to watch the Virgin of the Kings procession in honour of the city's patron saint. Many Sevillians even interrupt their summer holidays to pay their respects to their patron saint, an event in which all the city's civil and religious authorities take part.

El Rocío Pilgrimage
Seville Rocio The Virgen del Rocío, the Virgin of the Dew, popularly known as the "White Dove" or the "Queen of the Marshes"... is the first and last reason for the El Rocío pilgrimage.

Pilgrims come from near and far to the village of El Rocío in Almonte (Huelva) for the most famous pilgrimage in the world. Although it takes place in the province of Huelva, Seville takes an active part in the event as a sign of its devotion to the White Dove.

Each year the original brotherhood, Almonte, welcomes the Sevillian brotherhoods: Triana, El Salvador, La Macarena, Cerro del Aguila and Sevilla Sur. These brotherhoods set out from Seville on their pilgrimage to the village of El Rocío a week before the festivities are due to begin.

Bullfighting Season
The art of bullfighting is deeply rooted in the city, not only because it is the birthplace of many bullfighters or because it has one of the best bullrings in Spain, but also because of the Sevillians' great love of the fiesta nacional.

The season starts on Resurrection Sunday and runs untilthe end of spring. The bullfights held during the April Fair feature the most prominent figures in this art. They are called corridas de farolillos in reference to the paper lanterns that are used to decorate the streets of the fair.

The highlights of bullfights in Seville include the famous "silences of the Maestranza", when the bullring is crammed full of people watching the bullfight and not a sound is to be heard, and the opening of the Puerta del Príncipe for the bullfighter to make a triumphant exit, an unforgettable milestone in a bullfighter's career and a coveted honour reserved only for those who are awarded three bull's ears, a distinction desired by many but achieved by few.

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