Our municipality of Villacañas It has always stood out from the other geographies of Spain for its particular agricultural and industrial towns and for its colorful tradition of the Cristo de la Viga Dancers, festival of regional interest that we celebrate every 1 of May. This tradition of our popular festivals dates back hundreds of years where the following legend is narrated:
It tells that a strong storm hit a ship on the high seas. At the top of the main beam, A Christ appeared around whom eight dancers danced and that of the Porra. At the moment, the storm subsided and the crew were saved by the intervention of the Christ of the beam. According to the tradition, a villacañero He was there and he was the one who brought the cult of this sailor Christ to Villacañas. Historically, the Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, had to do with spreading this devotion. The knights of San Juan repopulated our municipality in the 13th century, and they would surely Christianize these dances and organize the brotherhood of the Holy Christ. Hence, the nomenclature of the directors of the brotherhood and their insignia are military: Mariscal, which it is the Big Brother or President (door cane), Captain (It takes a small image of Christ as well as a walking stick), Sergeant major (porta cane and banner), standard-bearer (carries flag and sparkler).
History of the tradition of Cristo de la Viga
Historians of the Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha say that a strong storm hit a ship on the high seas during the Middle Ages. At the top of the main beam, A Christ appeared around whom eight dancers danced and that of the Porra. At the moment, the storm subsided and the crew were saved by the intervention of Cristo de la Viga. According to the tradition, A villacañero was there and it was he who brought the cult of this sailor Christ to Villacañas.
The party has been going on for more than 500 years, organized by the Brotherhood of the Holy Christ of the Viga marked by the colorful dances of its Dancers, that they carry out dressed in colorful costumes that surprise those who see them for the first time. This dance, which are actually several because it is composed of stick dances, castanets and cord is the most typical and original among all those that are celebrated in La Mancha toledana.
The festive cycle begins on 19 March And it is celebrated in the house of the Marshal of the La Puja Brotherhood, from which the seven dancers will come, the one with the Porra, the saddlebag (carries the dance sticks in some saddlebags and carries the stick of the cord) and the teacher, who directs the dance and teaches at home every Sunday helped by the two boys of the brotherhood.
The day of Cristo de la Viga is 1 of May. The costume of the dancers of this day is very showy, elegant and very rich in symbols. It's a real work of art. The dancer wears his costume with great respect and veneration, knowing that he is the bearer of something precious and sacred, proof of it, is that previous days, los trajes se exponen en las casa de los danzantes y van a visitarse por amigos y familiares. The most showy piece of the dancer's costume is the fall, which is a large white bow that is embroidered or painted with floral and religious motifs, girded at the waist and from which the bow ribbons come out, that cross the dancer's back.
At ten in the morning, the Dancers pick up the authorities at the Town Hall and they all move to the parish church "Nuestra Señora de la Asunción", to attend the Solemn function held in honor of the Santísimo Cristo de la Viga. At the end of the Holy Mass and inside the Church the Dancers perform the stick dance entitled La Marcha Real before the Cristo de la Viga. After the religious ceremony of the day 1 Traditional dances are performed in the auditorium of the Glorieta del Prado, before the thousands of villacañeros, absent and visitors, that each 1 May they meet in Villacañas.
During this celebration so beautiful and marked by all, an interesting option is to go for lunch or dinner, or just have a drink, the Scorching restaurant El Capricho de Los Torres, in which they have meat specialties both yearling veal and Iberian field bait pork. further, treasures a peculiar menu where the pistachio is very present, giving a pairing of flavors to the dishes that make this restaurant in Villacañas unmistakable.