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Events and Culturevolver


Medieval celebration of the fire, demons and saints,

Music and the country life

The annual festivities of Morella start in January with Saint Anthony, which is part of the festivities of Saint Anthony in Els Ports, one of the oldest, most attractive and beautiful events of the Valencia Community. It is possible to follow from Morella the route of Saint Anthony along the nearby villages, Forcall, Villores, Herbers, Ortells, Castellfort, Olocau, Vilafranca, Cinctorres, La Mata, Sorita, Portell, La Todolella... because his celebration is performed all during the month of January and February and the days of festivity take a whole weekend.

The festivity in Morella takes place the weekend following January 17th (Saint Anthony's Day). It is a date of celebration for the countryside people, medieval festivity which links religious and pagan traditions. On Friday a huge bonfire is placed by the Church, built with pine and oak tree branches, it has a central huge wooden log. At night the life of the Saint is played in front of the door of the disciples. This religious play tells the temptations of Saint Anthony in the dessert. Then the bonfire is lit and it warms and lights the cold evening, meanwhile the devils runa long the streets. People walk along the streets singing the traditional Morella albades stopping in front of the Brotherhood Farmers House to taste typical sweets like panoli and drinks spirits.

The next day, on Saturday, several scenes of the life in the country are represented like ploughing, harvest, and the slaughter of the pig, making sausages. A parody of the meeting between bandits and policemen is also represented.


Morella is full of imagination, colour and happyness

It is one of the happiest and most crowded celebration in the year. The carnival of Morella is a tradition in the life of the walled town. Citizens disguise themselves and critisize the news and the authorities. It is used to be celebrated from the Sunday previous to the start of Lent till the following Tuesday, it was stopped by the Spanish Civil War. Now it is celebrated the first Saturday of Lent, the first weekend after the traditional carnival according to the catholic calendar. The celebration starts on Friday in the local pubs, bars and discos. There is a big parade on Saturday evening in the main streets. The carnival of Morella is unique because it is celebrated at a different weekend, because it has recovered the satirical and critical side, because many people dress up and because its main identity is its freedom of organization. The parade is open to everybody. In the evening,there is live music in the street. There is also a carnival for the children in the afternoon.


The solemnity and the silence of the parades

According to the religious calendar, the celebration starts on Palm Sunday with the blessing of this symbol, which in Morella is represented by rosemary bushes, in Saint Francis Convent. Besides, a few years ago a group of youngsters has promoted the performace of Rompida de la Hora, following the traditions of the villages in Teruel. On Friday, on Holy Friday the Via Crucis takes place, which is known as Les Creus in the castle. The parades of Morella are characterised by the solemnity, austerity and the black colour of the dresses of the Cofradía de los Dolores. In the parade of Holy Thursday, the curolles carry in their hands the symbols of the passion of Jesus. It must be said that this parade is one of the few in the Valencia Community which keeps all the mysteries of the Passion. On Holy Friday it is celebrated the Holy Burial also in the evening.


The celebration of the spring, blessing of heaven, land and life

When the spring comes, Morella looks up to heaven and earth. It is time to celebrate a wide calendar of pilgrimages, rotllos and primes. The first Saturday of May is celebrated the biggest one, the pilgrimage to Vallivana Shrine to honor the protector of Morella. Hundreds of people walk on foot the 25 km towards the shrine, next to the road N-232. The following Sunday they return on foot too. It is a tradition which is celebrated every May, except when Morella celebrates the Sexenni. Every six years this pilgrimage becomes special and it is celebrated in August. The town goes to the Shrine to bring the image of the Virgin of Vallivana up to Morella and they celebrate the Festival of Sexenni. The image remains in the town until the month of October when she comes back to the Shrine.

In addition to the pilgrimage, since April 25th, (Saint Mark), until July 10th (Saint Cristopher) rotllos and primes are celebrated. Some people, either because it is their turn or because they have a promise, give some cakes to all the attendants to these ceremonies. The cakes are hand made with flour, spirits and species. Morella is full of small churches and crosses where these ceremonies take place during the weekends of spring. This cycle begins in Saint Mark and it remarcable the celebration in La Llàcua of Els Apostols on May 1st. It is a small medieval hamlet made of a few farms where there used to be school and church. This celebration gathers many people. The main reason of the tradition is the blessing of the four cardinal points, the sky, the earth and the life.



Tradition, beauty and solemnity from the fourteenth century

The celebration of Corpus Christi in Morella along with Valencia are the oldest in the Mediterranean area . Its origin dates from 1358 and still retains its broad content of biblical pictures. It is held on the Sunday following the Thursday of Corpus which marks the Catholic calendar. The day before, on Saturday is celebrated "the degolla", which stages the massacre of the Innocents. Child participation is massive, wearing a distinctive red and white dress, and carrying in their hands a wooden sword that "stains" of saffron and water. The children walk through the streets accompanied by a series of biblical characters. On Sunday afternoon we celebrate the General Procession, involving hundreds of local residents. They represent multiple scenes and characters of the New and Old Testament prophets. the evangelists, the Holy Ark, the Apostles, dozens of images of saints, Els Cirialots ,Angelets, children dressed as angels who fill the streets with rose petals, all concluding with the passage of the Custody under pallium. We should also mention the passage of l'Aliga, one of the most emblematic and ancient symbols of the city and the parade of the four giants of Morella, one of the oldest in the Valencian Community


The celestial sounds of  the Archpriest's Church

Between the first and second week of August Morella welcomes more than 25 years, an International Festival of Organ Music, whose starting point and axis of the organ concert monumental Church of St. Mary Arcipestral major. Built by the organ builder of Crete (Teruel) Turull Francisco, is one of the most important and impressive of the School of Valencia. Turull began building the body of Morella in 1717, concluding its work in 1720.   This Baroque piece consists of four thousand voices or tubes, and consists of a large organ and the cadereta. In addition to enjoying your sound as part of the Festival, the organ plays in the festivities of Morella and most Sunday liturgies. The Music Festival was born from the hand of the organist Argentine Ricardo Miravet (Córdoba, 1930), who for years led the restoration of the organ Turull. Miravet has been organist of Saint Germain of Paris and each year brings to Morella prestigious organists and chamber musicians.




The summer festivals, bullfights, music and lots of fun

During the middle of August are held every year in the holiday Morella Saint Roc. They are the summer festivals, street festivals, from "bous per la vila" encierros popular music, orchestras and numerous activities. In addition, in August it is offered each week various entertainment opportunities. The cultural August, the Youth Week, the festival of Saint Roc and Sport and Health Week, usually held the last days of the month.


Privilege of King James I which is now a commercial space for livestock, food and a tourist attraction

By occupying these lands in the thirteenth century, King James I of Aragon strongly supported trade and livestock, and made a decision that forever marked the importance of Morella. The town has the privilege granted by the monarch on 6 March 1256 and authorizing Morella to hold a weekly market and an annual cattle fair. Morella Fair is held the second weekend inSeptember. Livestock has always had great importance in the live of Morella. The fruits of the earth have always been transformed by men and women. For centuries, in the almost four hundred farmhouses of Morella farmers have depended on the annual agricultural cycle: planting, harvesting, the fruits, the production of flour, bread, wine .... And also the life cycle of animals, grazing, killing, making cheese and preserves, and wool, which has enriched Morella, especially in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with an important textile industry.

La Feria de Morella is still a large shopping mall and one of the most important meeting dates for Castellón and the neighboring lands of Aragon and Catalonia, becoming also a tourist attraction. The fair stretches along the Paseo de la Alameda with hundreds of advertisements for agriculture and livestock, food and handicrafts.


New year in Morella

Morella Christmas calendar offers many possibilities, from Christmas traditions, rooted in families, to the song of carols in the streets. Festivals and events as Jocambient, which is held the first week of January and which is a children's play area. Furthermore, the fifth of January Morella holds one of the most colorful and curious parades of the Valencian Community. And the best, New Year in Morella is an unforgettable experience, welcome the new year from a house of rural tourism, or from any of the hotels, restaurants and entertainment bars, this date becomes instant fun and a little magic



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