Cascamorras Festival

Fiesta del Cascamorras Type of event: Fiestas Province: Granada Municipality: Baza, Guadix
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The Cascamorras festival takes place in September in Baza and Guadix, it has been declared to be of International Tourist Interest in 2013.

It has become an important tourist attraction, in Baza it is celebrated every year on the 6th September and it is the start of the Fair and Festival in honour of Our Lady of Piety that takes place from the 6th to 15th September each year.

For some time now the ”Cascamorras” festival has become a cultural event that increases in strength year after year that is a topic of conversation not only at the time of the festival but the 365 days of the year.

According to the tradition, in 1940 works started on the church of La Merced in Baza. One of the workers, from Guadix, founded the image of the Virgin and confronted his work-mates in dispute of the ownership of the image. The authorities intervened with a Solomonic solution: the image of the Virgin Mary would stay in Baza but with the concession of the right of the inhabitants of Guadix to celebrate the Festival of Our Lady. And they came to an agreement: if someone from Guadix managed to entre Baza and get to the church of La Merced without being daubed with paint, the image would be taken to Guadix.

Consequently every year on 6th Septembre, a symbolic figure called "Cascamorras", dressed like a harlequin, sets off on this quest. To defend himself, he carries a truncheon, a wooden stick with a string hanging from the end with a bladder tied to it. The retinue that accompanies or dodges "Cascamorras" sets off through the narrow, winding streets. Of course, the villagers of Baza are strongly opposed to any such an idea, and so by the end of the journey the "Cascamorras" and even many of the people who go with him arrive in quite a state. He returns to Guadix the 9th Septembre and the villagers receive him with the same way as in Baza, as he returns with empty hands.

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