Find out information about the most important ferias celebrations in Salamanca held in September.
Every year on September 8th, the golden-hued city of Salamanca celebrates its most important week-long event in honours of the city's patron saint since 1618 - “La virgen de la Vega” (Virgin of the Valley). Why is this event important? Because aside from Salamanca's having a farming and agricultural background, traditional lore has La Virgen de la Vega assisting the salmantinos in defending the city from the invading enemy troops during the Spanish War of Succession of 1706.
The Romanesque statue of La Virgen de la Vega, which is on permanent display in the Catedral Vieja (old cathedral), is brought out on September 8 for a high-spirited parade throughout the centre streets of the city. Closely followed by local and visiting inhabitants from around the province who are dressed in the traditional Salamanca costume known as “el traje charro”, the parade comes to an end in Plaza Anaya by the cathedral. This is where the emotional ceremony called “ofrenda floral” takes place: the virgin is showered with all kinds of flowers, but most especially claveles (carnations), margaritas (daisies) and guirnaldas (garlands). A breathtaking sight, these flowers are not cleaned up after the ceremony; instead, they are left to adorn the plaza for a few more days.
Salamanca lives her Ferias and Fiestas in her streets and theatres with concerts, plays, fireworks, street performers, toros and a circus by way of “Feria de Día” (day fair) and “Feria de Noche” (night fair). In Feria de Día, the city's restaurants, bars and cafeterias set up casetas, (temporary food stalls) throughout the streets of the historic city center offering mouthwatering “pinchos” (bite-sized meals). The most popular casetas are placed in Calle Compañía, Plaza de los Bandos, Plaza de Santa Eulalia, Las Úrsulas, Plaza de Anaya, La Alamedilla. However, wherever one goes, one finds the “pincho de la feria” which is a pincho and a drink for the low price of 1.50€.
Street art, performances, more casetas and music concerts are the agenda for “Feria de Noche”. The concerts, which can range from free ones performed in the Plaza Mayor to others that charge a small fee in enclosed concert halls, all feature well-known artists and without a doubt, are well worth seeing! It is during these weeklong “ferias de septiembre” that Salamanca's Plaza Mayor turns into the city's main “stage”: a place to meet one's friends, where families stroll together, and everyone has a drink, enjoys music and simply has a great time!
Being that Salamanca is the land of toros, one highly anticipated event during the Ferias are the bullfights, considered the most important of Salamanca. The mounting of “La Mariseca” - a small flag and a shape of a bull is placed atop the City Hall building in the Plaza Mayor - marks the beginning of not just the fiestas for many salmantinos, but also the beginning of the bullfighting festivities with many illustrated “toreros” (bullfighters) participating in Salamanca's prestigious and anticipated event of the year!
To see a bullfight, head over to “La Glorieta”, Salamanca's Plaza de Toros (bullfighting arena). But before you do, pay a visit to another one of the fair's important aspects: the Feria Agropecuaria de Castilla y Leon, which promotes local farm products, while the Feria de muestras exhibits the animals. Don't miss out this year's fair as Salamanca offers a great variety of cultural and playful activities for all people! See you there!