Holidays

 SAN JULIÁN. Patrón de Cuenca. 28 Enero.
 Cuenca’s patron saint. January 28th. It is a local holiday with religious celebrations in the Cathedrals and in the San Julián el Tranquilo Chapel (Júcar Gorge). The secular festivities are postponed until the month of August, with activities for all ages.
 
 JUEVES LARDERO. Like Mardi Gras (except on Thursday), it is the Thursday before Ash Wednesday
It is a day when families and groups of young people go out to the countryside and have a picnic: originally it was a celebration to prepare for the arrival of Mother Lent. Masks, brass bands and dances which take place during these celebrations, without a fixed date. Besides the Burial of the Sardine, they also celebrate Piñata Sunday, which is the following Sunday after Carnaval on Tuesday.
 
 SEMANA SANTA. March-April.
Cuenca’s holiday par excellence. Declared of International Touristic Interest, it impresses us with its great beauty. This tradition dates back to the 17th Century, a moment in history when Augustinians and Trinitarians started the first parades in Cuenca after founding the first guilds.
 
 May 2nd.
Similar to the other celebrations in other parts of the Castilla-La Mancha community. They build fires and sing typical songs (rondas, serranillas and mayos). This celebration takes place in the Santo Labrador Chapel, found next to the Castle , which includes a procession with the images of San Isidro and his wife Santa María de la Cabeza, bringing the festivities to a close with a picnic in the countryside.
 
 VIRGEN DE LA LUZ. Patron Saint of Cuenca. June 1st.
The chapel of the same name holds a ceremony in the morning, a bullfight, and at dusk there is an outside festival. The Sunday following the ceremonies, there is a procession that goes through the most representative streets in the Old Town and ends at the Cathedral.
 
 FERIA Y FIESTAS DE SAN JULIÁN. The last week in August.
The secular tradition dedicated to this patron saint. They set up fairgrounds where a series of activities are held: there is a theatre, a float parade, a running of the bulls, a circus, etc… In addition to a wide variety of sport activities which include a horseback riding contest, and for the grand finale, there is a fireworks display.  
 
 SAN MATEO. September 21st.
Another one of the important festivities in Cuenca. Its historic origin comes from the conquest of the city by Alfonso VIII in 1177. It is believed that the monarch compensated his troops with extravagant festivities. From then on the traditions remained, such as the running of the bulls throughout the historic part of the city, alongside the young people who are out partying and others who are not so young. There is an exciting atmosphere created by the many brotherhoods (peñas)which gather in the old town to eat baked potatoes, grilled sardines and drink zurra (a typical wine cooler),this goes on for about 4 days. On the 21st , the Pendon Municipal  (flag with an emblem representing king Alfonso VIII) is  carried from the cathedral to the Town Hall and then back.