Caravaca de la Cruz, in the Region of Murcia, celebrates this spectacular festival which culminates in a horse parade where the animals are beautifully bedecked for the occasion and accompanied by thousands of people on a run up to the castle. The festival was awarded the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity designation in 2020.
It is an equestrian event in which most of the locals participate and is held during the festivities in honour of the Blessed and Vera Cruz de Caravaca (from 1 to 3 May). The horses and their elaborate silk mantles embroidered in fine gold thread are the central focus of the festival. The animals are paraded through the streets of Caravaca de la Cruz attired in all their finery and accompanied by their four trainers. The race takes place on 2 May in a run up to the castle: each horse passes through the crowd with its runners in a spectacular event attended by thousands of people. Further parades and activities for children are held on 3 May. What’s more, there are prizes for the best dressed horses.
Public events and ceremonies may be very different to usual due to healthcare guidelines during the pandemic.