TOLEDO FIESTAS



POPULAR FESTIVALS & FIESTAS

Toledo's perhaps best known festivity is the procession of Corpus Christi, declared of international interest to the tourist, and which has been held on the Sunday of the ninth week after Holy Week for the last eight centuries. Presided over by the archbishop primate himself, it is a spectacular procession when the splendid 16th century gold monstrance by Enrique de Arce is taken out of the cathedral, among other treasures, and is accompanied by the Royal Brotherhood of Noblemen of Illescas, in red habits; the Mozarabic Knights, in blue habits; the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, dressed in white, and the Knights of Corpus Christi, dressed in green. Houses are also adorned for the occasion with antique fabrics from the medieval weavers' guilds, and the ground is covered with flowers and fragrant herbs. The 'Tarasca' or dragon sculpture, which used to be present in the festivities of Corpus Christi, is also brought out.

The popular Romería de la Virgen del Valle, a festival of pilgrimship, takes place in May as well. Among the best known and most interesting festivities in the province are Danzantes y Pecados (Dancers and Sinners) in the town of Camuñas, the same day as Corpus Christi; the celebration of the Rosa del Azafran in Consuegra, the last Sunday of October; and the Olive festival in Mora de Toledo, the last Sunday in April, as well as the Festival of San Isidro in Talavera, from May, 15th to 18th, with processions and poular dances. In June there is the Fiesta de la Amistad (Festival of Friendship) in Polan. All of them have been declared of interest to the tourist.

HANDICRAFTS

Toledo's craft tradition in metalworking is legendary. Swords, daggers, suits of armour, wrought iron grating, locks, furniture, and decorative items continue preserving the quality that have made them world famous. Ceramics and pottery are two crafts that have seen their popularity increase from the 16th century to the present-day. Polychrome and glazed ceramics with both naturalistic and geometric shapes from the region of Talavera and EI Puente del Arzobispo are well-known for their excellent quality. Other crafts include the art of damascene, a technique consisting of inlaying gold or silver threads in inferior metalsforming figures or patterns in. keeping with the artist's imagination; embroidery, which is especially noteworthy in the town of Lagartera, famous for its fine embroidered linens and tablecloths, as well as excellent leatherwork.

LEISURE ACTIVITIES AND SPECIAL EVENTS

To find out about the different activities that can be enjoyed in Toledo and its province, consult the local newspaper or a bulletin published by the Delegación Provincial de la Consejería de Educación y Cultura, which can be obtained at Tourist Offices. But one place that deserves to be highlighted on Toledo's cultural scene is the Rojas Theater, a 19th century building located on the Plaza Mayor which serves at times as a musical auditorium, a theater, or movie house, depending on the program.

Toledo has the greatest concentration of bars and nightspots on Calle Alfileritos, the Plaza de Zocodover and adjacent streets, as well as outside the walls in the district known as Santa Teresa.

On the other hand and as previously mentioned, the province of Toledo ranks high in abundance of fish and game. The most common species of large game are deer, boar and roe deer; and for small game, partridge, quail, hare, rabbit and ringdove. The Montes de Toledo is the mountain area with the greatest concentration of game. In regards to fishing, carp, red mullet, bogue, and tench are the most common.