Los Corazones de Tejina
According to historical references, the festival dates back to the second half of the 19th century. It coincided with the Librea and the eighth of the Corpus Christi, with its branches, arches and floral motifs, on the day of its patron, Saint Bartholomew, on 24 August, despite the ecclesiastical prohibitions on merging the two cults. In the second half of the century, the local livery disappears definitively, and it imposes itself as a festive manifestation through its fruit-bearing hearts, its most characteristic symbol.
It became deeply rooted in three population centres: Calle Arriba, Calle Abajo and El Pico. And this simultaneity is given by a deep tradition legitimized by the passage of time, which is to string an arch with fruit to honor the patron saint and others on the day of his name.
The hearts are designed on an iron and wood structure covered with reeds or beech branches. The entire structure is called a heart, although it consists of two smaller hearts or “crowns”. They are presented with fruit trimmings and divided into four. Inside, the cakes are sewn together and decorated with different motifs, and a bouquet of flowers is placed at the top.
They are carried on the shoulders of the men of the neighbourhood. The cortege is opened by six children and closed by the parranda. When they arrive at San Bartolomé Square, the hearts are raised. Each heart has, since ancient times, its assigned place in the square. When facing the square, and once in it, we witness the culminating moment of the staging: “each neighborhood reaffirms its ritual space in the square and the pique explodes violently”.
The hearts remain hung up all Sunday and part of Monday. On Monday afternoon, a young man climbs up the structure and throws the fruit and some vouchers – redeemable for the cakes – to a crowd of young people who are waiting to obtain the trophy: the bread cake. They are taken down on Tuesday morning. After the parrandas, the awards ceremony takes place.
The festival culminates with the burning of the Haragán: a rag doll, the emblem of the lazy man, who can do little in a village with a peasant tradition, where “everything is hard work”.
The symbolism of the heart has been interpreted as the depth and the attachment of the peasant to his land.
The Festival of the Hearts of Tejina was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, with local status, on May 12, 2003.