Immerse yourself in the captivating Saca de las Yeguas festival in Almonte, Huelva province. Witness the majestic procession of mares and foals from Doñana National Park, experience the vibrant Andalusian culture, and celebrate the harmonious bond between humans, horses, and nature. Don't miss this enchanting event!
By Nick Nutter | Updated 2 Aug 2023 | Huelva | Events | Login to add to YOUR Favourites or Read LaterThis article has been visited 2,655 times
Saca de las Yeguas Festival El Rocio
If you're a lover of traditional festivals and have a deep appreciation for the equestrian world, then the annual Saca de las Yeguas festival in Almonte, Huelva province, Spain, is an event you simply cannot miss. This captivating celebration, deeply rooted in the local culture, brings together the beauty of nature, the power of horses, and the vibrant spirit of the community.
Saca de las Yeguas Festival Almonte
Nestled in the picturesque province of Huelva, Almonte serves as the perfect backdrop for this extraordinary festival. The town is situated near the renowned Doñana National Park, a protected area of exceptional ecological importance. With its diverse ecosystems of marshes, dunes, and forests, Doñana is home to a remarkable population of wild horses, known as "marismeñas."
Every year, in June, the Saca de las Yeguas festival unfolds, drawing locals and visitors alike to see this grand spectacle. The festival revolves around the age-old tradition of driving the mares and their foals out of the Doñana National Park and guiding them through the streets of El Rocío to the nearby village of Almonte.
In 2024, the Saca de las Yeguas festival will take place on 26th June 2024.
The journey through El Rocio
In early June, the people of Almonte go into the marsh to collect the mares and foals that graze throughout the year in the different areas of Doñana. It is estimated that there is a population of more than four thousand wild horses of the marsh breed, bred within the Doñana National Park.
Then riders and herd head towards Almonte, first passing through the village of El Rocío, where the mares and studs are blessed by the priest of the Hermitage. From 11:00 a.m., people begin to gather in front of the hermitage at El Rocio to see the show. At the Santa María stream, the herd is allowed to rest for a while before entering Almonte. They mares and foals will remain there for five days, during which various tasks will be performed: the tusa (cutting the hair) and the shoeing of the fillies. Days later, the mares are driven back to the marsh.
Imagine the sight of magnificent mares gracefully traversing the rustic streets, their hooves echoing on the cobblestones, as foals frolic alongside them. The rhythmic clattering of hooves and the excitement in the air create an atmosphere that is nothing short of magical. Skilled riders, dressed in traditional attire, lead the procession, displaying their equestrian prowess.
Just passing through
As the mares and foals make their way through the town, the streets come alive with colourful decorations, joyful music, and the cheer of enthusiastic onlookers. The festival is a vibrant celebration of Andalucian culture, filled with traditional dances, flamenco music, and delicious local gastronomy. It's an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich heritage and warm hospitality of the region.
The Saca de las Yeguas festival holds deep cultural significance for the people of Almonte. It is a connection to their historical roots and serves as a tribute to the role of horses in their daily lives. Moreover, it highlights the importance of preserving Doñana's unique ecosystem and the harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.
Whether you are an equine enthusiast, a culture connoisseur, or simply seeking an unforgettable experience, the Saca de las Yeguas festival in Almonte promises to captivate your senses and leave a lasting impression. Witness the harmony between humans, horses, and nature, and become a part of this remarkable celebration of tradition, heritage, and community spirit.
Mark your calendar and start counting down the days to this extraordinary event. The Saca de las Yeguas festival awaits you in Almonte, Huelva province, where you will gain unforgettable memories and experience enchanting equestrian encounters !
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