Patrimony IconPatrimony

Guardamar’s Lady Cabezo Lucero

The rich cultural patrimony of the region of the Vega Baja is translated in a great variety of deposits, monuments and museums that we can find in the different towns giving us this way an idea of the numerous civilizations that have passed for this region, leaving us part of his culture, customs and knowledge.

In terms of defensive monuments that last to the present day (the towers watchtowers, castles, etc.) they are linked to the different epochs of conflict and in consequence the need of defence that has existed times behind in this region. Another of the exponents of the cultural patrimony are the wheels for the extraction of the water and irrigation, the mills, dams, that is to say, what we have been called hydraulic monuments that are directly linked to the fundamental role over the years has made the river Segura and his garden in the inhabitants of this region.

As for culture and musical tradition of the Vega Baja, we can say that is very strong, and good proof of this is the quantity of musical manifestations that exist at present. A good example we find it in the thirty Societies Music (bands of music) that coexist, nineteen schools of music associated with the bands, three conservatories, concerts annually, the songs of the "Auroros", the choirs, the competition of Polyphony and Habaneras, etc.. As will be seen this cultural musical tradition has a religious and popular origin, very typical of the garden society.

Bands of Music IconBands of Music

Musical group of Guardamar del Segura

One of the most based musical manifestations of this region are the bands of music, many of them founded along the 19th century, which are part of the musical heritage of the Region. According to a study published in "Alquibla" (1999, No 5) realized by the Group of Researchers "Castum Altum", these bands, in many cases, have their origin in a strong military copied by mimetism with regard to the bands of the armies of previous epochs, their uniforms, musical instruments, manners of parading, etc.. and in many other cases there will also be influenced by the church through the priests, teachers of choir and organists. All these influences are going to mark the history and later posterior development of the different bands of music from Alicante Region of Bajo Segura.

Auroros IconAuroros

Group of Auroros

In the region of the Vega Baja there exists a musical - religious very deep-rooted and ancient tradition, it is called Rosario de la Aurora, which as its name suggests is a rosary that is prayed and sung before the sunrise, that is to say, to the dawn. Its performers are popularly called "Auroros", but actually are part of a fraternity or brotherhood, which originally were called "brothers", "singers of the rosary" or "singers of the dawn".

Its origin can come on day 7th October 1571, day that takes place Lepanto's battle. The Pope, Pío V ordered that all catholic parishes pray the Rosary while the fight is celebrated. In gratefulness for the victory of that battle, the Pope fixes on that date a party in honour to the Blessed Virgin. Another concrete fact that has influenced the people of the garden was the establishment of the Dominicos in Orihuela, at the beginning of the 16th century, which they entered the city singing the Holy Rosary. From the establishment of this religious order there begins to be born the Marianas fraternities that today we are called auroros.

The first document that speaks to us about these unusual singers is in the Convent of Our Lady of the Help in Orihuela, in the book of the Confraternity of the Rosario. In the year 1568 are already listed the names of some members of Almoradí, Callosa de Segura and Catral. These groups, on having been constituted originally as confraternities, its members were acquiring a few obligations and commitments, changing in every case. All agree on the celebration of parties dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosario, offering her in the first hours of the day a mass called for "Aurora". Before the celebration of this mass is prayed the Holy Rosary. and that stems from what is called "awakening" or "awake": the "Auroros" are crossing the streets of the village of dawn, singing to invite the faithful to pray the rosary and singing. These songs are accompanied by a bell and other musical instruments, such as tambourine, guitar, bandurria, lute and triangle.

"Already we go away satisfied and happy,
because our brother dressing he is
and the bed is left tast and the Rosary comes to sing to Maria"

Once assembled to the "Auroros", begins the Holy Rosary that develops according to rule established by the Dominicos that is, five mysteries, according to the day, with our Father and ten Hail Mary each. The characteristic of these mysteries is that both Father and the Hail Mary are sung, either in whole or only the first part, as well as the corresponding mysteries related to them. All that prospers with the singing of Save from Requests and Praises to the Virgin and the Saints.

These confraternities, of widespread form, develop their rites in agreement to three periods that coincide with the liturgical cycles of the Catholic Church:

  • Christmas, from Purisima to Kings: it is the only one that already is not celebrated at present. It was the happiest and its celebration was consisting of the "Masses of Pleasure", "Christmas carols", "Salve of Christmas" and request of "Aguilando".
  • Passion, in time of Lent and of Holy Week, it is composed by singings of the death and Christ's passion, is called "Passions", called couplets "Couplets of the Passion". At present we can find it in Callosa de Segura that it is sung during the Vía Crucis. In Catral that is done in the dawn of the Holy Friday and the singing of every passage is announced by enormous tubas. In Orihuela, the night of Holy Thursday in the procession of the Silence, the choirs interpret their stanzas, without instruments, in different corners of the city to the step of the Christ of the Agony.
  • Deceased, the All Saints' Day takes place, consists of Despierta, Rosario de la Aurora, Dawn's Mass and singing of Couplet of the Deceased in the mass and in the cemetery.
  • Ordinary, the rest of the year. The ritual of this cycle is composed by Despierta, Rosario de la Aurora and Dawn's Masses.

At present in the majority of the towns of this region there are groups of "Auroros", and safely on Sunday’s dawns of October, we can find in their streets these groups intoning religious singings about a lantern, or banner and accompanied of a small bell. In fact, for years meetings are realized to regional level, being celebrated last Sunday of October in the approved village.

It should be noted also, that practically all the towns of the region of the Vega Baja have Houses of Culture. Normally the Municipal Houses of Culture have library, room of exhibitions, and assembly hall, where there are the cultural and social life, all kinds of activities being organized, from conferences, theatre, cinema, exhibitions, concerts or courses.

Bands of Music IconLas Habaneras

International Contest of Cuban dances and polyphonies

La habanera is a song of nostalgia, sadness and goodbye that the Cubans were singing when they were going to the port to dismiss the sailors who were done to the sea. This musical genre arrived at our coasts brought by some sailor who was coming from these distant lands. To speak with property of La habanera we have to turn our attention aside towards the seaworthy Torrevieja, to the Torrevieja of the merchant fleet of the 19th century and beginning of the XXth. During the reign of Carlos III the maritime trade is opened to America for all the Spanish ports and is there where the fleet torrevejense starts acquiring its importance. The most frequent crossings are "the beautiful island of the burning sun, Cuba.

From there we observe the different factors of this almost mythical relation between the island and Torrevieja. The sea was and remains the great ally of Torrevieja, this source of wealth for which arrived in the city the more diverse cultures. Not in vain a monument has been raised to the different cultures, compound of a series of columns and in one of them it says the inscription: "Torrevieja to its sea that it should". These melodies, and specially La habanera, were setting in the depths of its peoples.

The president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, Francisco Alonso Diaz, says that "when you feel the feelings of Torrevieja, you feel like the Cuban dance as own". La habanera is melody, music, but also text, lyrics and poetry. The lyrics talk about everything from love, love in the ports, the memory and the consequent nostalgia, the die for the beloved, the passionate air, in short women.

Las habaneras are the clear reflection of the experiences lived in the voyages, from the point of view of the items and the returns. The commercial traffic with Cuba was allowing that the ships should anchor in the Cuban ports and a relation existed between the sailors and the people of the village and they were exchanging musical elements.

Torrevieja's musical origin comes from the first settlers, Genoveses or Napolitanos who close to Spanish families were those who furrowed the seas towards Havana and to whose return they brought this musical genre that is similar to our tanguillo, though slower and harmonic.

In the year 1955 there was born the I National Certamen of Habaneras in the Avenue Jose Antonio, to whom there were coming corals of the whole Spain.

In its first years, the corals sang only habaneras, of which one was forced and interpreted by all the participants. In 1964 began to interpret works of polyphony of free choice, giving place to the National Contest of Cuban dances and Polyphony.

The main competitions held are:

  • Habaneras on the Beach, the idea arises not to miss the Cuban dances within the people, with what the public becomes actor and they participate in the contest, several local groups are those who interpret la habanera on the beach, between friends.
  • Contest child and youth, The I Certamen is celebrated in 1994, in the New theatre Cinema of our town. Its origin centres that the future of the Cuban dances spends for the young people who are those who have to continue spreading our musical culture.

On August 2nd of 1994 the Department of Trade and Tourism declares the International Contest of Habaneras of TOURIST INTERNATIONAL INTEREST.

Boly Week IconThe Passion

Image of the representation of the Passion in Callosa

The Passion, Sacred drama which is represented in Callosa, has its origin in the former Affected Wreath that was held in the Chapel of the convent alcantarino (alicantino) for centuries.

Today is a grand Eucharistic play, with the original script "The Drama of Calvary" of the Valencia’s author Juan B. Pont, in which are interpreted 15 scenic pictures and is represented by more than 60 actors players and 50 extras of distribution, with the collaboration of 140 people between atrezzo, theater and collaborators, known in the present in the whole Spain.

Although in its modern form is represented sporadically since the 30s, it does it so continued during Lent and only in Callosa since the year 1969, which he carried the past year editing number 30 in a continued way.

This liturgical drama obtained the first Prize of the Provincial Contest of Alicante in the year 1974.

It also owns the Award for best Cultural Work of Callosa de Segura, granted by the Council of Culture, in the year 1989. It has been represented until the year 1988 in the Parish Church of St. Martin and since then in the House of Culture "Queen Sofia" of Callosa de Segura.