In February the inhabitants of Granada take part in a pilgrimage to Sacromonte to celebrate the feast of their patron saint San Cecilio, a partly real and partly fictitious figure. Having been cured of blindness by Jesus Christ himself, he was one of the seven men who accompanied Santiago (St James) to Spain. They preached in Spain and were executed by the Romans. The skeletal remains of the saint are believed to have been found in the caves of the Sacromonte in 1590, next to some lead books, known as Plúmbeos. They contained a kind of doctrine that was a mixture of Christianity and Islam. San Cecilio is thought to be the first bishop of the city.
It was later discovered that the Plúmbeos were written as an attempt by the Moors to safeguard some of their religious principles. But at the time the catacombs were a place of pilgrimage in Granada. Since then every year the people climb the ‘seven hills’ to honour and celebrate their patron. Special food is made to mark the day such as Tortilla del Sacromonte and Salaíllas accompanied by beans and cod. The marriageable girls are allowed to touch the sacred stones if they wish to get married that same year, whilst others take part in the celebratory dances.