A pagan fiesta with a modern twist
Every year, on the third Monday of September, Nigúelas commences the fiestas in honour of its patron saint, la Virgen de las Angustias. Lasting for a week, festivities include all kinds of fun and cultural activities. Click here for details of this year’s programme
To round off the whole week, fiestas cannot end on a dull note, the village performs the traditional “ Burial of the Vixen”. By 1994 the tradition was more in danger of burial than the poor vixen was. Hence the “Brotherhood of the Vixen” was formed to study the best way to revive this age old custom.
As we all know, the fox is an astute and wily animal, always a danger to farmers. So to counteract the fear and superstition the villagers felt for this enemy, a live vixen was paraded round the village in fiesta time. The defenceless animal was object of all kinds of violence until its death. The burial of the vixen symbolised the burial of all the bad luck endured during the year. This rejoicing in the prospect of a good harvest turned into a carnival which Nigüelas didn’t celebrate in the spring. As all the religious festivites had already been observed, the clergy turned a blind eye to this pagan fun and games.
Fortunately for us and the vixen the brotherhood came up with a modern day version of this barbaric ritual. On the very last day of the fiestas, the brothers dress up in habits and parade round the village with a stuffed fox in a cage. They proccess in utter silence, as “false” mourners in “false” hommage to the fox. Finally they burn a carboard image of a vixen, a sign of purification. After which the carnival atmosphere takes over with music and dancing to the wee, small hours! Next day everyone is already thinking about their fancy dress for the following year! And the foxes can sleep in peace!
Photo by www.turismovalledelecrín.com
Published by Susan at casatagomago.com
If you want to visit the Lecrín Valley to discover these wonderful places, we have a wide variety of accommodation, beautiful rural houses and hotels to choose from. For eating there are different types of restaurants, and if what you are looking for is something different our active tourism companies offer you all kinds of activities and sensations. We are the Lecrín Valley Rural Tourism Association: www.turismovalledelecrin.com