In the Malaga town of Tolox, all the residents exchange their partners on the Dia de los polvos (Powder Day), in a tradition that dates back to the 19th century. This was for men to show the love they had for their ladies. Nowadays, everyone throws powder at each other.
In the memorandums in the Town Hall it states that this tradition is an excuse for men to seduce the young women in the town that didn't leave their houses all day. It was the boys who had to find ways to dust their girlfriends and thus demonstrate their love for them. The young men then poured flour on their hands and tried to enter the houses of their ladies to put flour on their face. If they found all the doors and windows closed it was a sign that they were not wanted, although they tended to be persistent and some even made holes in the ceilings. Some broke down doors and windows while the less romantic threw small bags of talcum powder from a distance.
According to some locals the tradition dates from Christmas 1539 when a huge fight broke out between Christian and Muslim women in front of the public oven. They ended up throwing all kinds of things at each other including handfuls of flour.
This holiday falls within the carnival week in Tolox.
Other local villages celebrate in similar style such as Alozaina when hundreds of residents take to the streets to enjoy the traditional 'harina' (flouring), which symbolises their ancestors who covered their ladies in flour as a demonstration of their love after returning from the grinding of the wheat.
An area of 95 km square within the region of the Guadalhorce Valley, in the province of Malaga. The town sits 315 metres above sea level and 52km from Ronda.
Outstanding sights include:
Church of San Miguel
Casa Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares
Shrine of San Roque
Fuente Amargosa Spas
Sierra de las Nieves Nature Reserve