Festivals in Extremadura

Encamise is celebrated on the 16th of January, Navalvilar de Pela (Badajoz), Horseback riders race around the town, and bonfires are lit for the occasion.

Carantoeas (20 January), Achehuche (Ceceres) – During the festival of St Sebastian, the Carantoeas fill the roads and streets wearing animal skin attire and sporting masks of ferocious looking wild animals. The masks and skins are worn in praise of the animals that did not harm St. Sebastian.

Pero Palo Carnival is celebrated at the end of February, leading in to March, Villanueva de la Vera (Ceceres) – This is a very old tradition, much like the Guy Fawkes celebrations in the U.K. A suited figure is marched around the town, ripped apart and burned or trampled. This figure is representative of the devil, hence its destruction, but the head of the usually wooden statue is retained for use at the next years’ parade. This is sometimes referred to by tourists as the ‘Black Parade’ as it seems to be quite dark in nature.

The Los Empalaos Festival is one that is celebrated by Catholics all over the world, but is usually called Maundy Thursday, Valverde de la Vera (Ceceres) – A number of men march through the town tied to pieces of wood that are representative of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Los Escobazos Festival is celebrated on the 7th of December, Jarandilla de la Vera (Ceceres) – The main festivities include: Bonfires, fireworks and the lighting of straw broomsticks for use as torches.

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