Sexenni

It was on February 14, 1673 when the civil authorities of the Villa, at the request of the people of Morella, swore a Vow to the Virgin of Vallivana as a sign of gratitude after getting rid of a terrible plague of plague in 1672. The vote consisted of compromise to celebrate a solemn Novenario of six in six years in honor of the Virgin. Since that year this oath has been fulfilled, interrupted only in times of war, and will continue to be fulfilled in 2024, 2030, 2036, 2042 …

The party is celebrated during the second half of August, preceded by a year of preparations to make the decorations for the streets of Morella. This popular handicraft work consists of making large ornamental designs that preside over the route of the six-year processions. For a year, the residents of Morellanas make these tapestries based on the finest curled paper. Once installed, Morella becomes a museum for the beauty and delicacy of these decorations.

The party begins with the pilgrimage that departs from Morella to the hermitage of Vallivana to transfer the Virgin. The return is solemn, very emotional, as is the entry into Morella of hundreds of pilgrims carrying torches and accompanying the small image of the patron saint of Morella. It is the axis of the festivities of the Sexenni, the arrival of the Virgin of Vallivana. From this moment the Novenario, nine days that organise and sponsor the unions of the social and economic sectors, takes place, an aspect that has evolved and adapted to new realities. The current unions are now the Town Hall and the Church, the Elderly, the Farmers, Professions, Industry and Transport, Commerce, the Arts and Crafts, Youth and the Morellano-Catalan and the Absent Morellanos neighbourhoods.

Every day an altarpiece parades, a procession where diverse cultural traditions converge. Each guild contributes its dance, music and other elements such as the impressive Carro Triomfant, from the Professions, Industry and Transport guild. The chariot, of great beauty, is adorned by canvases by the painter Cruella in the 19th century and carries boys and girls dressed as angels, representing, among other symbols, the Theological Virtues, the real attributes of Morella: Faithful, Strong and Prudent. For its part, the Commerce guild preserves the Biblical Heroines table, chaired by Queen Esther. This group stands out for the spectacular nature of the costumes, made from beaded embroidery.

The dances of the Sexenni are unique, of very ancient origin and make up another of the attractions of the Sexenni, as well as they parade every day of the Novenario. Los Torneros, the dance of the city, is made up of young people dressed in beautiful clothing and who dance a series of steps that are difficult to carry out and highly original. It is one of the oldest dances in the Valencian Community. Then there are the dances of Teixidors, Arts i Oficis, Llauradors i Llauradores, Les Gitanetes. In all cases, the costumes, colours and originals are outstanding, as well as the music of dolçaina and drum that accompanies each guild. The Sexenni also has the installation of two convents, made of curled paper, in which boys dressed as priests and girls of nuns, respectively, sing songs as the processions pass.

Life in Morella is counted from six to six years