The Moratalla town festivals begin on June 15 for the feast of Cristo del Rayo. Some highlights include the Huertano Parade (similar to the main Huertano parade in Murcia city), the floral offerings, religious activities and the solemn procession. Most weekends from the 15th June till the 17th July will have some interesting activity going on.
However, due to the apricot harvest in June the main partying occurs between 10th and 17th July, when all the produce has been picked and packed.
Although there are numerous activities such as the election and coronation of the Queen and Ladies of Honor, a literary contest, fireworks, music etc, the core of the party centres around the capture and release of wild cattle – the encierro of Moratalla. Morning, afternoon and evening releases are announced with fireworks. For seven days the narrow streets become the scene of madness for those who want to “run with the bulls”. The brave race ahead of the bulls as they run down hill to the main square, using the wooden railings to catapult themselves out of harm’s way. The sensible hide behind bull bars, or on their balconies and watch from a distance.
The crowds gather at first light and jump and dance endlessly to the competing strains of music. Every peña (makeshift party house) has their own idea of what great music should sound like – but they all have some commonalities – the music should be loud, distorted and 24/7! The girls gyrate as the boys pose, it’s certainly fun to watch.
We recommend seeking refuge in any of the many peñas installed along the route and enjoy Moratalla’s traditional hospitality, but remember, you’re never completely safe from the bulls.
For some great photos: http://www.laverdad.es
For the full history: http://www.moratalla-turismo.com
For more details about the bull running: http://www.encierrosdemoratalla.es/
For day by day details of events: http://www.encierrosdemoratalla.es
The Moratalla Ayuntamiento site: http://www.ayuntamientomoratalla.net
Our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/moratalla.murcia