Mojácar, along with the municipalities in the Almeria Levante region, celebrated the traditional “La Vieja” fiesta.
The day is celebrated on the Thursday nearest to the halfway point of Lent, hence the Spanish expression “partir La Vieja cuaresma” and consists of a day of food and wine, together with family and friends in the countryside.
With this in mind, Mojácar’s residents scatter themselves in one or other of the town’s many green areas, particularly in the “Los Gurullos” and “Las Alparatas” districts to share a good paella and taste the sweets that are hidden their “Viejas”.
It is at this point that the children take centre stage. At the end of the meal they congregate around their “Vieja” which is a small doll that resembles an old woman, made on a wooden cross with the head made of cloth and stuffed with sweeties.
The “Vieja” will have been previously staked in the ground and the smaller children are the ones in charge of breaking it open, like a piñata, to find and eat the sweets it contains.
Traditionally it is a typical time to taste the “Hornazo” (an elongated, sweet, braided bread enclosing a hardboiled egg), although the day is generally characterized by the abundance of all kinds food.
The day of “La Vieja” is the only fiesta not represented by an Andalucian Saint, but by a pagan figure, although it still has Christian roots.
Whatever its origin, the truth is that it has been celebrated since “forever” and no Mojaquero willingly misses one of the first opportunities of the year to enjoy the outdoors. Although for this year’s “La Vieja fiesta”, the weather has not been as helpful as usual.