SAHAGÚN, LAND OF MINSTRELS
Sahagún has a long historical tradition reflected in its commemorations and celebrations. One of the most characteristic is the “Minstrels Convention”, held since 2002, to commemorate the first School of Minstrels in Spain, founded in Sahagún in 1116.
During the third week of July, Sahagún is filled with minstrels and a wonderful atmosphere where a “medieval wedding”, a witches’ Sabbath, falconry, theatre, medieval suppers and markets can be enjoyed.
We can highlight the following events:
IMPORTANT CULTURAL EVENTS
The Traditional Gastronomy Workshops have been held during one weekend in April since 1998.
THE PASTOR BONO PILGRIMAGE
The Pastor Bono Pilgrimage is held in April, two weeks after Easter Sunday. Farmers and shepherds offer visitors their best products. There is folk dancing and you can enjoy the local punch and hazelnuts.
In the evening, the tradition is to eat snails and hazelnuts. The young ladies of the town give the young men hazelnuts, then dance to the sound of the “dulzaina” and “tamboril”.
At the end of the day, everyone returns to the village singing and dancing the “La Tantáriga”, in the style of the “jota”.
THE BREAD AND CHEESE PILGRIMAGE
The San Marcos Pilgrimage, also known as the Bread and Cheese Pilgrimage, takes place on the 25th April, close to the Virgen del Puente Hermitage, to celebrate the arrival of Spring. There is a procession in honour of the Virgin, followed by bread and cheese served with punch and accompanied by the music of the “dulzaineros”. The evening Rosary is followed by sampling of delicious snails.
THE PATRON SAINT’S FESTIVITIES
The greatest cultural and festive celebration in Sahagún takes place over six days and is dedicated to the Patron Saint San Juan de Sahagún and starts on 12th June. Bull running has become the main event of the festivities.
THE PEREGRINA FESTIVAL
There are other celebrations in July, such as the Virgen Peregrina on the 2nd, dedicated to the Virgin Pilgrim. There is a procession to the sanctuary of the Virgin, where bread with chorizo and punch are offered to those taking part.
SAN LORENZO AND THE HOLIDAYMAKER’S FESTIVAL
The festival of San Lorenzo takes place on 10th August, and the Holidaymaker’s Festival on the 15th. The aim of this festival is to promote the town’s tourist attractions amongst the holidaymakers there at the time. There is music, paella contests, bread and chorizo and the local wine. During the evening there is a dance in the open air, which is always very popular. As a curiosity, the ”Descenso del Cea” (canoeing down the river Cea) is held on the Sunday before.
THE LEEK FAIR
Finally, Saint Simón’s Fair, also known as the Leek Fair, is held in October (28th) in which food products, vehicles and farm machinery are on display. The Fair dates back to the XVIIIth century and offers visitors the typical food of merchants at the time; leeks, pickle and wine.
The Fair has become so popular that it is now one of the most important in the area as it shows some of its main commercial activities.
Besides all of these events, there is a Saturday market which is considered to be very important in the region.
HOLY WEEK, AN EVENT OF REGIONAL TOURIST INTEREST
An event declared of Regional Tourist Interest on 17th December, 2007, it is one of the most important religous celebrations in the town. It starts on the Sunday before Palm Sunday and is known as Tortills Sunday (the tradition is to have a picnic in the country and eat tortilla). The Auction of the Processional Steps takes place, during which there is a bid with money to obtain permission to carry the figures in the procession. During Holy Week, the Brotherhood of Jesús Nazareno y Patrocinio de San José carries a total of 16 processional figures through the streets of the town.
The Auction of the Processional Figures, Toque de la Trompa on Maunday Thursday, when those assisting are offered bread dipped in liquor, «La Isa» and the Procession of the Statues. The National Holy Week Photography Competition is also held at this time.
Bullrunning in Sahagún dates back to 1410, when it was first authorized in Plaza de Santa María, now known as Plaza de San Tirso.
“La Prueba” takes place on the Patron Saint’s feast day and consists of letting a young bull run loose for the enjoyment of the public and aficionados until late evening. All of this is is honour of San Juan and an episode in his life when he performed a miracle in Salamanca. With the words “tente necio” he stopped a wild bull that was wandering around the town spreading panic”. This is the origin of the great interest that people from Sahagún have in bull running and bull fighting.
Other important dates or celebrations include the second weekend in July with Region’s Day, with a meal for the community and a party at night. During the last weekend of the month, they celebrate “Día de las Peñas y Asociaciones”, for all of the different clubs and associations in the town, also with a meal for the whole community.