Intangible Cultural Heritage: Music and Religious Festivals

Pic by David López Gómez

Sigüenza, January 22nd 2021.

On a day like this back in 1124, the Aquitanian bishop Bernard of Agen entered the city of Sigüenza, together with his troops, bound for a memorable reconquest of the city after three assaults. This fact was undoubtedly the origin of a city marked by the episcopal seal, which will also be the residence of bishops for several centuries afterwards.

Furthermore, January 22nd is the feast day of Saint Vincent, who as could have not been otherwise, became the patron saint of our city the day it was (re-)taken by the Christian kingdom. This remarkable fact in our history is celebrated every year, and the saint is venerated with different ceremonies.

On the eve, the last novena dedicated to the Saint is celebrated at the Romanesque church devoted to Saint Vincent. On the square in front of the church and opposite to the House of El Doncel, a bonfire is lit with a pine tree in the middle, with or loanges and tangerines hanging from its centre, symbolizing the martyrdom of the deacon in Valencia according to the legend. At the end, the bravest ones will jump over the remaining flames and ashes.

The sound of dulzainas and tambrets, intangible cultural heritage, surprises devotees, visitors and passers-by, announcing with their melodies that an important event is taking place. 

Traditional rosquillas, a kind of fried doughnuts typical of many festivities in Spain, are sold (after being blessed) to help defray the costs of the Brotherhood. 

The day after the feast, the traditional Bibitoque takes place, with activities for adults and children, and hot chocolate for everyone. 
This year, due to the pandemic, these celebrations will not take place and the bonfire will not be lit. However, the flame will still remain in the heart of all Seguntinos, hoping for a better future and looking forward to the coming celebration of the IX Centenary of the reconquest of Sigüenza, in 2024.

CREDITS: Picture by David López Gómez

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