Complete Tourist Guide to Teruel – Discover Spain’s Romantic City



Fiesta de la Vaquilla

Fiesta de la Vaquilla is a bull festival that takes place every year in Teruel, in Aragon. It is one of the most important cultural and folk events in the region, which has its roots in the medieval tradition of paying homage to the city’s guardian angel. Fiesta de la Vaquilla is organized by peñas vaquilleras, groups of friends who dress in white and red outfits and participate in various activities and attractions related to the bull, such as encierros, bull runs, vaquillas, fights with young bulls, and puesta del pañuelico, the placing of a red handkerchief on the neck of a bull statue, called Torico, which is a symbol of the city.

Fiesta de la Vaquilla usually takes place on the second weekend after St. Peter’s Day (June 29) and lasts four days. During this time, Teruel is filled with an atmosphere of joy, fun, music, and dance, and the city streets are full of people, colors, and smells. Some of the main activities and attractions that can be experienced during the fiesta are:

    • Pregón: This is the official start of the fiesta, which takes place on Friday evening at Plaza del Torico. Then a representative of one of the peñas vaquilleras gives a speech, encouraging fun and community, and also reminiscing about the history and significance of the fiesta. After the pregón, there is a fireworks display and live music.
    • Encierros: These are bull runs that take place every morning from Saturday to Monday. Then a group of bulls is released onto the city streets, and brave participants try to escape from them or run alongside them. Encierros are very exciting and dangerous, and sometimes accidents and injuries occur. Encierros end at Plaza de Toros, where the bulls are brought into the arena.

    • Vaquillas: These are fights with young bulls that take place every afternoon and evening at Plaza de Toros. Then a group of peñistas enters the arena and tries to avoid or tease the bulls, using various objects such as umbrellas, chairs, or sticks.
    • Puesta del pañuelico: This is the most symbolic and moving activity of the fiesta, which takes place on Saturday at 4:30 pm at Plaza del Torico. Then a representative of one of the peñas vaquilleras climbs the bull statue, which is placed on a column in the middle of the square, and puts a red handkerchief around its neck, which is a symbol of the fiesta. At this moment, the whole square erupts with shouts and applause, and people start hugging and kissing each other. Puesta del pañuelico is an act of homage to the bull, which is the patron and companion of the city.

  • Other activities: In addition to the main activities, Fiesta de la Vaquilla also offers other proposals and attractions for visitors, such as concerts, shows, games, or exhibitions. Some of them are: a symphony orchestra concert, a regional dance show, a bowling game, a handicraft exhibition, or a meeting with authors of books about Teruel.

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