THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

 

8th December

 

Even though the dogma wasn't recognised until 1854, the festival of the Immaculate Conception has been solemnly celebrated in our region for many years. In 1394 King John I, The Hunter, threatened: “qui gosara predicar contra dita Concepció, sia bandejat de les terres del senyor Rei”, The expulsion of anyone who didn't accept the Immaculate Conception. Since then, the festival has been celebrated in all the kingdom of Aragon, a festival, the celebration of which in many towns has been moved to spring, to coincide with the "Daughters of Mary" festival or even to summer to coincide with the town’s own festival.

 

FESTIVAL OF THE

 

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

 

Ontinyent

 


When the cold weather arrives, Ontinyent prepares to celebrate its Patron Saint and one week after the November Fair, the little Angels, girls and boys dressed in beautiful clothes, sing the Angelic Annuncation which announces the Festival, sung since 1662 During the previous weekend there are various varieties of Bull Running and a flower offering.

However the most important festival is celebrated on the 7th and 8th. An open-air concert precedes the parade of the Giants and Big Heads and their dance. The day is also accompanied by the ringing of the bells in the town's bell tower which, along with the Repiquet, a ceremonial bell ringing concert, announces the mass. After the street fireworks in the afternoon, the Giants and Big Heads and the Veta childrens' dances, the Arquets and the recently recuperated Cavallets, the “Purissimeta de plata massissa”, the solid silver image of Mary of the Immaculate Conception procession begins.

The festival ends with the now symbolic "Asguinaldo", a petition of goods to pay for the image. The priest asks the listeners if they prefer songs or prayers for the dead if any family has recently suffered a death and then the Angelets, little angels, sing.

 

 

 

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