This is one of the oldest festivals in Spain, and was created by the Catholic Monarchs after the conquest of Granada. It appears to have been more a political manoeuvre than a celebration, as at that time the city was primarily inhabited by Muslims. The highlight of the festival is the procession of the Corpus Christi, or "body of Christ", which is not only celebrated in Granada but also in Seville and Toledo.
It goes without saying that this is not only a religious festival but also a time for fun and entertainment.
Corpus Christi Procession
This leaves on Thursday from the Cathedral of Granada, and takes the following route: Plaza de las Pasiegas square, Mesones, Reyes Católicos, Gran Vía, Cárcel Baja, Cathedral.
Prior to this there is a mass, and the procession is led by giants, "cabezudos" and the "tarasca" (traditional carnival figures), followed by all the "cofradías" or religious associations in Granada, then the clerical orders, priests and other religious authorities, who walk immediately in front of the monstrance with the body of Christ. Then come the military authorities in full regalia, the national police, civil guard, local constabulary and the army, and finally the municipal authorities with the mayor of Granada, and the municipal band.
The procession takes place the length of the route in the shade of canopies erected for this purpose by the Town Council, and on a carpet of grasses, rosemary and other plants. Shower of petals are thrown over the monstrance as it passes.
Carocas and Quintillas
The "carocas" and "quintillas" are typical elements of the Corpus festival. "Quintillas" are short verses about political, current affairs or news topics, but expressed in a characteristically ironic style.
The best of all the verses presented in the competition are selected, and the winners are depicted in a "caroca", or cartoon, which is put on display every year in the Bibrambla square.