Feast of St. Sebastian

San Sebastian is celebrated on January 20. It coincides with the end of the olive season and is known everywhere as a fun festival.

In Orellana la Vieja it is one of the most popular, since a large number of people participate in its development. The events are scheduled for the Sunday following the saint’s feast day.

FESTIVAL
TRADITIONAL

First the religious services in the church and then in the Plaza de San Sebastián a large number of people gather to taste the famous Sangría Orellanense, accompanied by the most typical sweets of the town.

Between roscas and flowers, the neighbors of the neighborhood lead the work and prepare hundreds of pieces that are sure to run out.

In addition to continuing a centuries-old tradition, our neighbors have a good time preparing the dough and shaping the sweets, while laughing, chatting and reminiscing and spending good afternoons together.

Historical Background
In the square called “El Santo”, there was a chapel dedicated to San Sebastian, on his feast day, January 20, religious and popular festivities were organized around him.

According to Valentina Marfil Gallardo (born in 1892 and died in 1987), in this hermitage the Eucharist was celebrated every Sunday by D. Sebastian, parish priest of the village at that time and that commanded to restore the chapel in 1920 to 1921 and was painted by D. David Garrido Ruiz, in his vault put the four Evangelists St. John, St. Luke, St. Matthew and St. Mark. In the center was St. Sebastian, and on the sides were angels.

On the eve of the feast day, a luminaria was set up in front of the hermitage and on the day of his feast (January 20), after the Holy Mass, a table was set up on which were placed the donuts and sweets that had been given to the Saint, in gratitude for the favors received. These sweets were auctioned.

St. Sebastian was brought down to the parish every year and on January 20 he was taken in procession to his hermitage.

Days before the festival was announced with the tambourine through the streets of the village. They did it at dawn, as well as at dusk, accompanied by the kids and by a very popular character that every year was a different person called “EL TARABALLO”.

A ghostly man dressed in white with his head covered by a hood who danced to the sound of the tambourine and in front of the saint, when he was taken in procession from his hermitage to the parish church. He goes on to tell us that the “Taraballo” was a promise made for a favor received. He covered his head so as not to be recognized.

This hermitage, being in ruins, was demolished on April 25, 1960.

Background information compiled from verpueblos.com

El Santo
Saint Sebastian was a military man in the time of Diocletian who was denounced for helping Christians who were prisoners. By order of the emperor he was pierced with arrows all over his body but none of them touched his vital organs.

He was taken in and cared for until he recovered from his wounds and decided to confront the emperor, who ordered him to be beaten to death. Thus, the saint is invoked against poisoned arrows and to get rid of plagues and diseases.

He is the patron saint of archers, soldiers and athletes.

First the religious services in the church and then in the Plaza de San Sebastián a large number of people gather to taste the famous Sangría Orellanense, accompanied by the most typical sweets of the town.

Source: Orellana de la Vieja Town Council website.