On the first Tuesday after Easter this one day in particular stands out – Bando De La Huerta (‘proclamation of the countryside’). If there’s one fiesta that you should go to in Murcia (apart from your local village’s, of course), this is it. Simply eschewing shorts and tee shirts will not be enough to prevent you from standing out as the extranjero in this fiesta. About 90% of the people at the festival wear national dress, so take a camera! There are lots of stalls (barracas) where you might be lucky to get a sample of traditional local food and drink – alternatively, all the restaurants and bars will be open. The processions and entertainment start in mid afternoon and go on all night – have a good siesta beforehand and enjoy!
Practicalities: You’ll need to get hold of some national dress (lots of adverts for places selling it in the local Murcia press during the weeks leading up to the festival). Try and get a copy of the local newspaper (e.g. La Verdad) on the Monday before to get the running schedule for the day. We parked out on the East side of town (near the river) and walked the couple of kilometers into town – you don’t want to even try to get closer than this with your car. Also be very careful when leaving by car – you may be under the limit, but not many others will be! If you drive in about 3pm, you’ll find that the roads coming into town are eerily deserted – everybody’s getting some rest before the real partying.
For some photos of us in Bando dress have a look at the MoratallaTownHouses.com site.