11 August 2009
¡Viva Santo Cristo!
Last weekend Alcútar celebrated its ´fiestas patronales´. The patron saint of this village is ´El Santísimo Cristo de la Misericordia´, whose carving can be seen hanging above the central altar of the village church throughout the year. For the celebrations it is taken down and placed on a portable platform with candles and red carnations. On Saturday evening about fifteen men from the village lifted the image up an carried it out of the church while the band was playing the announcement with impressive drumbeats. While one of the assistents exclaimed ¡viva Santo Cristo!, this was repeated by the ´alcuteros´ and ´berchulers´ with great fervour. After this the carving was taken through the small steep streets of Alcútar followed by the band and the faithful villagers carrying candles. After two hours the ´costaleros´ or carriers arrived back at the church exhausted. This is no wonder as the total weight is about a thousand kilos and they sometimes needed to almost go down on their knees to be able to pass underneath the ´tinaos´. The procession was followed by music and dancing until dawn. On Sunday a lot of activities were organized and there was paella for everybody in the afternoon. On Sunday evening the carving was hung back above the altar with all due ceremony. Blessed red carnations were handed down for people to take home. The music of the band playing inside the church was impressive and moving. We therefore encourage everybody to attend the ´subida del Santo Cristo´ when they have a change. The fiestas in Alcútar in his honour, are always celebrated the second weekend of August.