The Battle of Flowers
The traditional month of May in Córdoba starts with the increasingly popular "Battle of Flowers", celebrated the last Sunday of April, as a prologue for all the festivals that will take place in this month so awaited by people from Córdoba and, more and more frequently, by tourists coming from other places in Spain, and very soon, we hope, in the world.
We do not know for sure the year when the Battle of Flowers started to be celebrated or the reasons for this unique festival to go on. However, we know that other cities hold similar festivals, such as Valencia or Laredo (Cantabria), which interestingly started to celebrate them at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. On the other hand, we know there are other cities in the world which celebrate battles of flowers, but it is difficult to find the exact place where this tradition comes from. More specifically, in our city, the first evidence goes back to the 1940s, although there is a gap of many years when the celebration did not take place. In the middle of the 1980s, the festival was resumed and, since then, it has always been held up to our days.
Paseo de la Victoria Street is the location where more than twenty floats gather, which are the result of the effort and dedication by associations throughout the year, as they are decorated with plenty of paper flowers and other typical elements from Córdoba, such as the horseshoe arches of the Mosque-Cathedral or our beloved and devout San Rafael, Guardian of the city. The participants in the Battle of Flowers wear the typical Andalusian dresses, both for men and women, which also contribute with their colour and folklore to the splendour of the floats, decorated with frills and flowers. These people are the ones who start "the battle", usually at about noon, when a flare marks the beginning of the parade of floats, and they start throwing the first flowers, up to 140,000 carnations of all colours that will be returned to them by people from Córdoba and tourists, who every year gather to join this original way of starting our festival.
As for the music, a different band accompanies the parade every year. Behind them, we can see the vehicle belonging to the Federación de Peñas (Federation of Associations), the entity in charge of organizing and promoting the event. Behind them, there are up to fifteen more floats, each of them belonging to a group or association in the city, all of them full of light and colour, and many of them had taken part in the Romería de Linares (Pilgrimage of Linares) or Santo Domingo, celebrated the two last Sundays in April. At the end of the parade, there is the float dedicated to the "Official Pretty Girls of Spring in Córdoba", chosen by the members of the associations themselves.
For approximately two hours with pleasant spring temperature, and the sun which very often accompanies, the floats of the Battle of Flowers go along Paseo de la Victoria Street, creating a very special atmosphere, while we can hear typical songs from Córdoba in the background, such as the famous "Soy cordobés" (I am from Córdoba) by Rodrigo Bueno, and keeping that atmosphere full of countless colours and smells, which can only be found in our city.
Near the retinue, we can see the place reserved for the authorities of the city, such as politicians and some members of the Federation of Associations from Córdoba, who do not hesitate to join the battle as the rest of the citizens who enjoy the beginning of the festival in May.
If you are not sure what to do in Córdoba, we recommend you visit the Battle of Flower hiring one of our guided tours. Choose to do high quality sightseeing with qualified staff. Do not hesitate, ArtenCórdoba is the best option.