July 19, 2024

A secular celebration at Easter: La Fiesta de Genarin


In the northern Spanish city of Leon, they have a secular tradition at Easter time, which rather than celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, celebrates the spirits and time of one time resident Genarin.

The celebration starts on the dawn of the Thursday before Good Friday and ends on the dawn of Good Friday, on the streets of the local district of Leon, called Humedo.

A procession, organised by the Brotherhood of Genarin starts at midnight.

Genarin was a local man, a furrier, who was said to have enjoyed the local tipple Orujo and paying for sex with women. On the night of Holy Thursday, 1929, he was hit by a garbage truck when he was urinating against the wall.

A year later, a group of four men, who called themselves ‘the four evangelists’ decided to pay homage to Genarin by drinking Orujo and singing songs in his honour. With time the tradition of the homage grew in popularity and led to theĀ  formation of the brotherhood and the wider festival.

The procession traces the last steps of Genarin around the city centre of Leon. Regular stops are made along the route and participants are required to swiftly down a glass of Orujo at each one.

About Author