It was revealed last week that the Festival de los Patios de Cordoba could be on the verge of extinction. The festival has been held every year in May since 1918 but the associations representing the house owners have warned that the number of patios entering the competition – a prize is given for the one with the most beautiful flowers – is dwindling. There are several reasons for this: some old houses are being closed for reforms while the old people who have kept the tradition alive are beginning to die off and their younger relatives don’t want to take on what is in fact the equivalent of a full-time job. Paradoxically, thanks to climate change, the flowers are blooming earlier so the patios will open their doors before the end of April this year. And they will stay open longer for economic reasons. The city council pays the owners a subsidy towards expenses but it is not enough so in order to encourage people to keep on opening up their patios, visitors will now have to pay a small contribution of five euros. Outsiders will also be able to rent the patios for social events during the festival.


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