Tíjola covers the Paseo de Almería with sawdust

Sawdust carpet to promote the fiestas of Tíjola in Almería. – TOWN HALL OF ALMERIA

The Paseo de Almería has been transformed this Saturday into one of the streets of Tíjola which this coming 12th May will be dressed in its best clothes to welcome its Patron Saint, the Virgen de Fátima. The people of the Almanzora Valley have made a sawdust carpet 60 metres long in the main artery of the capital of Almeria to highlight its festivity, recognised as of Tourist Interest in Andalusia last year 2023, and to extrapolate its value and wealth to the provincial level.

The activity on Saturday 4 May has been promotional in nature to encourage residents from different parts of the province to attend this festival declared of tourist interest.

The Mayoress of Almería, María del Mar Vázquez, accompanied by the Councillor for Tourism, Communications and Promotion of the City, Joaquín Pérez de la Blanca, visited this morning this artistic event in the company of the Mayor of Tíjola, José Juan Martínez, the Deputy María del Mar López and the coordinator of the Andalusian Youth Institute, Diego Martínez.

The councillor acknowledged that “today we are here to support this initiative which aims to promote the traditions and cultures of other municipalities in our city. If a few weeks ago we enjoyed one of the best known festivals on the national scene, the fallas of Valencia, now it is the turn of a festival recognised throughout our autonomous community, the sawdust carpets of the Virgen de Fátima de Tíjola”.

Vázquez recalled that “we are delighted to be a host city for traditions and culture from other places. Our arms are always open to anyone who wants to come and with a sister town, as you are, it could not be less”. The mayoress ended by encouraging all those present “to enjoy our city, our culture, our heritage and our museums, without forgetting our gastronomy”.

For her part, the provincial deputy María del Mar López has highlighted “the firm and indispensable commitment that the Provincial Council has with everything that has to do with the history, roots, culture, traditions and festivals of Almería. And it is because one of our main objectives as an institution lies in defending, disseminating and publicising what makes us unique and different, such as our way of understanding life or celebrations as genuine as that of the Virgin of Fatima in Tijola. This activity brings Tijola together with the whole province in anticipation of its festivities”.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Tijola and deputy, José Juan Martínez, has thanked the mayoress of Almería for having collaborated in making reality “that we have been able to present the carpets of Tijola to all Almeria. He has also extended his thanks to the Junta de Andalucía and the Provincial Council for their support to achieve the Declaration of Tourist Interest of Andalusia of this festival. Finally, Martinez stressed that the carpet made today in Almeria has been made with the same technique as those made in Tijola with geometric figures with three details that represent the province, Almeria and Tijola. “Our festival is a great neighbourhood coexistence of all the neighbourhoods, an intergenerational coexistence that represents our identity,” he said.

Finally, the coordinator of the IAJ, Diego Martínez, acknowledged that “for the Junta de Andalucía the celebration of the Festivity of the Virgen de Fátima in Tíjola is not just another festival, far from it, and proof of this is that last September the Junta de Andalucía declared it a Festival of Tourist Interest in Andalusia, highlighting its special importance as an Andalusian tourist resource”. “Today its mayor wanted to bring this celebration to the capital, a carpet of 60 metres, so that all Almerians can learn more about this festival, and that this carpet is a lure for us to visit Tíjola next weekend, specifically on Sunday, but there is the carpet will already be a kilometre and a half,” he concluded.

During the day, the Town Hall of Tíjola has offered the traditional drink of the town (the cuerva) and a large paella. In addition, various stalls of the Diputación’s gourmet brand, Sabores Almería, and of the Almanzora Valley, have been set up to taste the most varied and rich gastronomy of the province as well as its local products.

It should be remembered that these festivities stand out for their ethnographic tourism elements, highlighting the valuable cultural heritage of the region. The celebration consists of dressing the streets through which the Virgin passes with an impressive carpet of more than a kilometre and a half of dyed sawdust. The elaborate decorations, the active participation of the community and the unique procession make this fiesta a unique experience, attracting visitors from all over Spain.

Throughout the day, the shops of the Almanzora have offered a small tasting of traditional doughnuts and fritters. The whole event has also been enlivened with live music.

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