Pine Battle of Vinuesa

Pine Battle of Vinuesa

August 14-16
The Pine Battle or Pinochada of Vinuesa in the province of Soria, Spain, takes place in an area where the nobility once built a number of hunting lodges and where King Juan I located his main residence in the 14th century. The town of Vinuesa stands at the opening of a valley and is cradled on both sides by hills studded with pine trees. Tradition dictates that Juan II had the pines planted as a gift memorializing the pleasant times he had there hunting with his father.
On August 14, two tall pine trees are erected at the entrance to the village and in the main square. There is a ceremony in the church that evening at which the mayor's wife makes an offering to Our Lady of the Pine, an image of the Virgin that is attached to a pine trunk in a recess above the altar.
On the morning of August 15, two fraternities representing the town's two patrons, Our Lady and San Roque, join in a procession to the church. There they perform a revolteo, a flag-twirling ceremony which takes place at many festivals in Spain. Later that afternoon there is a procession to a nearby field, where ceremonial dances are performed and there is another revolteo. The second day of the festival ends with a twilight procession featuring an image of the Virgin that is a replica of the 11th-century original.
On the final day of the festival, there is a ceremonial mock battle in which the women of Vinuesa attack the men with pine branches. The explanation for this is that centuries ago, when an image of the Virgin was found between two pine trees near the boundary between Vinuesa and Covaleda, a quarrel broke out over who would get to keep the image. After several hours of fighting, the men of Vinuesa asked for reinforcements, and their wives arrived to help them. The women tore branches from the pine trees and used them to strike their opponents in the eyes, thus winning the battle for Vinuesa.
SOURCES:
SpanFiestas-1968, p. 160