If you are visiting Ronda from the 19th to the 22nd of May 2016 then you are in for a real treat!
Beneath balconies draped with embroidered shawls and the streets bustling with people dressed as peasants, gypsies, bandits and figures from the Napoleonic War era Ronda is celebrating its Royal May Fair Festival “Ronda Romantica”.
The second oldest rural fair in Andalusia, and recreation of the fair’s atmosphere from the Romantic Age. Ronda is the perfect setting for this as it was an emblematic city for writers, artists, mule drivers and bandits in the nineteenth century. Equestrian shows, parades, horse riding tours, street performances, homemade foods, and a host of activities and events to entertain everyone.
You can get an idea of the atmosphere in this short film taken by a visitor to Ronda Romantica in 2014
The processions start on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday this year is the 20th of March) and all are organized by the local Catholic Brotherhoods, and may involve several hours of hot sweaty walking through the city streets until the icon returns to its church at which point a party may start that lasts longer than the actual procession.
Women are often dressed in the finest outfits or in complete mourning black, children in communion dress, and men wearing robes with tall pointy hats unless they´re helping to carry the icon. Many will be carrying banners, or holding tall candles. In total there are 14 processions taking place in Ronda over 8 days.
Have a look at the promotional video for Semana Santa 2016…
Here is a PDF document (in Spanish) showing all the processions and times. semana santa 2016
Even at over an hour, this video is well worth a watch and listen… the music is great and the show pretty much takes you to all the must sees and best parts of Ronda. Starting with the long and twisty road from San Pedro… Make yourself a cup of tea or poor a glass of sangria, sit back and take in the beauty of Ronda “The city of Dreams”