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Asociación CascamorrasJunta de Andalucia

Sponsored by  Consejería de Innovación, Ciencia y Empresa de la Junta de Andalucía


Home News Últimas Cascamorras, National Tourist Festival
Cascamorras, National Tourist Festival PDF Print E-mail

The Cascamorras Festival is held in September in Baza and Guadix in the province of Granada. It was declared of National Tourist Interest in June 2006 and all who wish to participate may do so.

In 1490, Don Luís de Acuña Herrera, a knight who accompanied King Ferdinand, the Catholic, decided to build the church called Iglesia de la Merced where previously a Mozarabic chapel had stood in the Churra suburb of Baza. The building work having started, one of the workmen, Juan Pedernal, from Guadix, was chipping away at some plaster work during the demolition when he was surprised to hear coming from inside the cavity a soft and woeful voice which seemed to come from the depths of the earth and which said "HAVE MERCY!". He had found a sculpture of the Virgin, which from then on was given the name of Our Lady of Mercy, in allusion to the expression.

The discovery of the workman from Guadix gave rise to serious turmoil among the workmen who competed for ownership of the icon, to the extent that the authorities of the two towns became involved requiring the intervention of the courts of those times, which resolved that the image was the property and should be in the possession of Baza, and the right to hold annual religious festivities on 8 September, festivity of Our Lady of Mercy, be given to the Chapter of Guadix.

It was agreed that if a commissioner from the town of Guadix were able to enter Baza and reach the church of Mercy without stain, he could recover the Virgin for Guadix.
Thus, the townspeople of Guadix came in pilgrimage to hold the religious festivities which was within their right to do. The retinue went to Baza accompanied by a buffoon, a small person and usually plain, whose crucial mission was to entertain his protectors with jokes and nonsense. It is thought that this buffoon was the precursor of the present day "Cascamorras", and it stands to reason that the servant entrusted with the rescue should be irritated by the jokes and laughter that children who came along to stain him and from whose mockery he should try to defend himself by wielding inflated bladders tied to a stick.

Consequently the tradition of this festivity is based on that famous character, Juan Perdernal (the first Cascamorras), accompanied by a drummer and a retinue, emulating the first years of its celebration, who reaches Guadix from Baza to carry off the image of Our Lady of Mercy. If he manages to arrive clean, that is, without being covered in paint, at the Convent of Mercy, he can carry out his objective. In their attempt, the inhabitants of Baza prevent him by accompanying him on his journey from the road into the town to the church of the Our Lady of Mercy and smearing him with brilliant jet black paint, formerly it was done with red ochre, laundry blue, etc . "Cascamorras" will return to Guadix without the prized image so the people of Guadix, in return for his failure will paint him and stain him too using emulsion paints, red ochre, etc...

Having become an important tourist attraction, in Baza it is celebrated every year on 6 September at 6.00 p.m., being the start of the Festivities and Fair in honour of Our Lady of Mercy, which are held between the 6 and 15 September each year and in Guadix on 9th of that month.

On 8 September, in the church of the Our Lady of Mercy a solemn religious service in honour of the Holy Mother is held and in the afternoon Our Lady of Mercy is carried through the main streets in solemn procession.

Once arriving at the church and convent of Mercy the procession is over and Cascamorras's stay in the town of Baza comes to an end, he takes the road back to the town of Guadix in the knowledge that the reception that he will meet with will be just as ungracious on reaching Baza: at the end of the day the inhabitants of Guadix are angry with Cascamorras for not having been able to recover Our Lady of Mercy for their town.


There are serious repercussion on a national level, let's see a video from España Directo, Channel 1 programme broadcast by Spanish Television.

As well as on an international one, such as RTL 5, Netherlands national television (Holland). 

Or we can even see the Shakira and Alejandro Sanz video, "Torture, oral fixation" does it remind you of anything? Click here to see it

But not only videos can show the spirit of Cascamorras. There are also hundreds of photographs that show the importance of this festivity.

Photographs of  Juan Manuel Diaz Rubio

Cupon once Cascamorras

The Spanish National Organization for the Blind (ONCE) devoted a coupon to the Cascamorras Festival on 13 April 2006


Welcome to the official web site of the Cascamorras Association (association registration number 6127) and we thank you for your visit. We would like to place at your disposal all the useful information relating to our Fiesta of National Tourist Interest via the Internet. We shall try to update our Web page as soon as news becomes available.

We shall be delighted to receive emails from you at the following addresses:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by filling in your contact details on the form or phoning 62 8 32 11 11

If you are not familiar with our association yet and you have heard about us for the first time via the Internet, we would kindly ask you to contact us to let us know your wishes and queries. We are at your entire disposal for whatever guidance you might require.

Send us your photos and videos of Cascamorras. They will be published on the web site




Comentarios (4)Add Comment
escrito por Nuria Garcia Collado, June 07, 2009
Buenas noches, Santi mucho animo que lo estas haciendo muy bian.

Un saludo. smilies/wink.gif
Que os lo paséis muy bien !!
escrito por Javier Artvisual, August 07, 2009
Bueno, pues solo eso, que espero que todo salga perfecto y el Cascamorras 2009 se antológico!!
Un saludo desde Valencia.
animo santi!!!!
escrito por raquel, September 04, 2009
hola santi soy raquel!!!


suerte y animoo!!!!
soy el cascamorras 2009 y espero la visita de todo el mundo
escrito por rafa vallecillos reyes, September 05, 2009
hola gentes cascamorreras este año es mi año y soy cascamorras 2009 y solo les digo una cosa espero que este año sea inolvidable para mi y para todos los congregantes de esta maravillosa fiesta, espero su visita para gozar de la mas maravillosa habida y por haber un saludo de cascamorras 2009 rafa vallecillos

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