The origins of this fiesta are uncertain, but many people claim it represents a legend of the wild animals of the forest peacefully receiving Saint Sebastian after his martyrdom. It takes place in Acehúche (Cáceres)
The fiesta is held over two days on or around 20 January, the feast day of Saint Sebastian. It reenacts the moment when wild animals received the saint after his martyrdom, with several key figures in the ceremonies. The mayordomo starts the celebration by gathering the rosemary the regaoras (young women) will spread on the floor in the church and the other scenes of the fiesta. The tamborilero fills the street with music and accompanies the mayordomo around the village to choose the men who will dress up as wild beasts (or carantoñas) with furs and terrifying masks. They all form part of the procession which accompanies the saint through the village streets until the appearance of the vaca tora (a carantoña with horns and bells) which frightens the rest of the animals. The fiesta also features folk dances and songs, and the two days end with wine and cakes in the mayordomo’s house.
Las Carantoñas de Acehúche
Acehuche, Cáceres (Extremadura)