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Leisure and Fiestas





No event is as important and suggestive for a local, as going to the weekly market which takes place every Monday in the village of Potes, where there is also a great activity in the services sector. Attendance to the market appears documented in 1291, when the king Sancho IV, ordered, that people who came to the market were oblised t keep their weapons in the inn until they returned to their homes.

Monday market has always been a meeting place for the "lebaniegos", as well as an important point of sale for this land´s magnificent products. The delicious cheeses, where the two origin designations in the region are included: "Picón Bejes-Tresviso" and "Quesucos", apples, pears, cherries and many other fruit varieties, the onions of Bedoya, the walnuts and chestnuts. It is still possible to contemplate many women weighing this products with the old Roman Scales.

When spring arrived, and specially on Carnival and Easter Mondays, the lasses from Liébana used to dress up for the occasion. The markets of Ramos and La Ascensión were special for working cattle livestock from the highlands of Palencia and Burgos, and people went to the market of San Andrés in order to get pig livestock for the slaughter-house, as well as sheep and goat. The "lebaniegos" keep many picturesque anecdotes and happy moments of Monday markets.

These cattle fairs take place in the "ferial" (special place for fairs) of "La Serna" and we know their antiquity because of a document dated on July the 30th of 1379, and written in Burgos by the king Juan I, giving the village of Potes two cattle annual fairs; one of them during the first fifteen days of August and another, from eight days previous to the festivity of "Todos los Santos" (All the Saints), to eight days later. At present, Potes continues celebrating six one-day cattle annual fairs; and the most important are those of San Pedro (29th of June); La Cruz (16th of September) and Los Santos (2nd of November).



Potes begins each year celebrating January the 22nd, festivity of San Vicente Mártir, patron of the village; on August the 15th, the virgin image of Valmayor is carried walking up from the church to the hermitage of the same name, to the south of the village. There, a campaign mass takes place, followed by a country meal and traditional open-air dance with children games. In the afternoon, people take a snack in the field of "La Tejera" and then go down to Potes, where there is a lively "verbena".

Without any doubt, the most important festivity is on the 14th of September, with the celebration of the "Exaltación de la Cruz". For several days, the streets in Potes are full of people who come to the village to enjoy their traditional fiestas. There are performances for all ages: sport encounters, children games, rural sports, fireworks from the "Torre del Infantado" (town hall of Potes) and magnificent orchestras to liven up these days.

In November, and since it began in 1984, the fiesta of the "orujo" is celebrated during a whole weekend; with the purpose of letting people know about this valuable liquor made in Liébana. In the town square´s bandstand the stills are set fire and glasses of "orujo" are offered to all the people who attend the party. Also, a distinction of "greater Orujero" is granted to an outstanding personality that year.

Leisure and fiestas: