This old (27 years) tradition, also called "Toro del Aleluya" consists basically in chasing along some town streets a 500kg bull with balls. And I don't mean the kind of balls you are thinking of... the ones these bulls wear are plastic balls at the end of their horns, so they are less harmful (though harmful enough anyway!).
To make it simple, is like Pamplona's "San Fermines" but with just one bull...
It takes place on the Resurrection Sunday of the Easter week (the last sunday).
It was almost 10 AM on December 30th as Sue and I made our way toward the old Moorish castle when we chanced upon this scene in downtown Vejer. After a night of keeping their customers happy, it appeared that the various restaurants needed to restock their supplies of fresh meat to feed the next onslaught! There was a young lad inside the box of the truck but I'm not sure what his actual job function was. These days in Canada, deliveries like this are usually done behind the scenes because most people really don't want to see the gory details of where their meat is coming from. I guess there are not too many other delivery options in the narrow streets of the old Moorish parts of various Spanish communities, so life continues as it has for hundreds of years.
During our trip through southern Spain, we were impressed by the large number of windmills we came across, especially in the far southwest along the Atlantic Ocean coastline, and even a few solar plants with large mirrors focusing the sun's rays to produce even more power. It should not have been a surprise because Spain is presently one of the top three wind-power countries in the world with almost 10% of its total electricity demand produced in this manner. Total installed wind generation was just under 16,000 MW (million watts) a year ago, making it slightly more than the world's largest power station - the 14,000 MW Itaipu hydro dam on the Brazil-Argentina border (as new generators are added, China's Three Gorges dam will soon overtake Itaipu).
We spotted these fairly modern versions of wind generators beside main Highway 340 as we made the turn-off onto the smaller A-2227 highway toward Zahara de los Atunes and the coast. Everywhere we went in Cadiz province of southwest Spain we were confronted by wind-turbine farms, often stretching out of sight over the horizon. Many of these were of the older lattice steel-tower design instead of the more modern fibreglass types. There were many technical problems that plagued some of the earlier farms, probably explaining why so many of them were not spinning their blades despite windy conditions. Another drawback of the older farms was the small size of the generators - with each tower often only producing about 0.5-0.75 MW of energy instead of the 1.5-2 MW now commonplace as the technology has advanced.
It is likely that Vejer first existed under the Carthaginians in around400 BC.
The name of the city is thought to have got it's name from the river Barbate which at that time was called "Wadi-Baka". During the course of time the word "Baka" gradually has been transformed into the name "Vejer".
The "de la Frontera" part comes from the time it was a border town between Muslim ruled Spain and Christian Spain in around the 1200's.
A nice gastronomical custom is the aperitivo. Before lunch (and that means between 1 and 3 pm!) we use to go for a quick drink and tapas with friends in the local bars.
Of course this is not something we do everyday, just on weekends and holidays!
Since the mid 20th century there were a high amount of local women wearing long black dresses that covered all their body except the face, (maybe a remain of the arab times?). Nowadays is hard to find such figures, but you will still see some in postcards and so.
Vejer has a rich arab past and heritage.
Since 711 (Battle of Janda), during 6 and a half centuries, Vejer was under control of the arabs.
There are some remains of it in its architecture, the walls and the castle.
The name de la Frontera comes from that times. As the border between muslims and christians moved depending on the battles and conquers, the towns located in that border ("frontera" in spanish) took that addition to its original name. As that border moved along the centuries, you will find many spanish cities called "...de la Frontera".