Best festivals in traditional Toledo to enjoy the town as it’s best, Spain
If you’re lucky enough to be in Toledo during a festival, you won’t be able to ignore it and nor should you. These often sombre processions and festivals represent some of the most deeply cherished rituals in Spain . If you can manage to get a look you’ll enjoy detailed floats, elaborate banners, and decorated figures, all moved to a unified purpose. Not quite a party, but a truly unforgettable cultural feast for the senses in Spain’s religious capital.
Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrates the week of Easter and extravagant parades from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday fill the streets. People carry statues of saints around on floats or wooden platforms with a somber atmosphere of mourning (which can seem quite oppressive to onlookers) and the Easter week processions end with Easter Sunday, a day full of light and colour when church and cathedral bells are heard ringing throughout the city.
Perhaps Toledo’s most famous festival is the procession of Corpus Christi, held on the Sunday of the ninth week after Holy Week for the last eight-hundred years. Presided over by the Archbishop himself, this spectacular procession begins as the marvellous 16th century gold monstrance by Enrique de Arce is taken out of the cathedral (among other treasures) and accompanied by the Spanish Knights through the streets. Houses are adorned for the occasion with antique fabrics from the medieval weavers’ guilds, and the ground is covered with flowers and fragrant herbs.
As the spiritual capital of Spain, there are many religious processions that take place during the year. One of the most important ones being dedicated to the Virgin of the Valley. Be sure to check the local calendar to know if there is anything going on during your visit.