On 1 May the town of Pedro Muñoz (in Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha) holds a traditional May Day festival. The festival originated in the formal courting visits which the young men of the district used to make to young women. These days, local people listen to folk music, wear regional costume, and decorate traditional lanterns.
The men and women of Pedro Muñoz dress for the fiesta in brightly coloured costumes decorated with lace, and the women put their hair up in a traditional bun called a “zorongo”. On the evening of 30 April there is a ronda de mayas on the streets of Pedro Muñoz, a visiting ritual recalling the times when the young men of the town would visit local girls’ houses and sing to them as a form of courtship. If the maya welcomed the attentions of her suitor or mayo, he would paint a decorative flowerpot on the front of the house. If not, he would throw the paint at the house. During this night of celebrations, the residents also treat everyone present to a traditional wine punch or zurra.Lanterns are another important element of this fiesta, recalling the lanterns the young men would carry on the night of the ronda. There is even a competition for the best-decorated lantern.The event also includes food fairs and a folk music festival. And one young woman is chosen to be the mayera who will attend every special event in the town that year.
Manchego May Festival, Pedro Muñoz
Pedro Muñoz, Ciudad Real (Castilla-La Mancha)