The Caballada Fiesta
Popular fiestas with typical costumes that recreate the history of the town.
It commemorates the charge of muleteers in Atienza, 1162, that saved king Alfonso VIII from falling into the hands of his uncle, Ferdinand II of León, who wanted to seize the throne from him. It is said that the soldiers of the king from León were celebrating a pilgrimage in honour of the Virgen de la Estrella, and that for this reason the muleteers managed to leave without being seen. This fiesta combines historical and religious elements.
The fiesta begins on Sunday morning when the fraternity members, on horseback, make the pilgrimage to the hermitage of the Virgin of La Estrella ('The Star'), accompanied by the sound of the drum and the 'dulzaina'. There, a procession of the image of the Virgin takes place, along with a platform auction, and pastries that are still weighed in 'celemines' (old Castilian measure). The auctioneer is called the 'manda'. Members of the fraternity, astride mules, with long capes and black hats, cross the town preceded by 'gaita' (type of bagpipe) players, the standard-bearer, the abbot, the 'prioste', the 'seises' and the major-domo, on their way to the hermitage of La Estrella, where they attend a mass, followed by a procession and a fraternity meal. The entourage returns in the afternoon and, after crossing the town, the fraternity members compete in furious races through the Puerta Caballo neighbourhood, to end up electing the new elder brother in front of Trinity church. The president of the Brotherhood is called the 'prioste' and those who have held this position in a previous year are called the 'seises'. Those who have been “priostes” (heads of brotherhoods) wear a cape and hat, while the others wear unusual, beautifully embroidered jackets. Women also take part in the fiesta, with their own “priostas”, and the respective “seisas” – their main job is to adorn the statue for the procession.
- Atienza (Guadalajara. Castile-La Mancha)