Extraordinary Award “Mystery Play of Elche”
It was awarded in 1965 by the Ministry of Information and Tourism, which made it possible to include the enactment of the Mystery of Obanos in the cultural program “Festivals of Spain”.
“Festivity of National Tourist Interest”
In August 2001, the Ministry of Economy, through the Directorate-General of Tourism, granted the Mystery of Obanos Foundation the title of Festivity of National Tourist Interest, thus responding to the request issued by the Government of Navarre at the initiative of the Foundation itself, with the express support of the Obanos City Council.
The declaration of a Festivity of National Tourist Interest is granted to festivals or events that represent a manifestation of cultural values and popular tradition, with special consideration for their ethnological characteristics. Special importance is also attributed to the propensity of such events to drive tourism.
The criteria especially considered when granting this title include the amount of time that the festivity or event in question has been celebrated, the continuity of its celebration over the years, and the originality and diversity of the acts carried out.
At the initiative of the Mystery of Obanos Foundation, the General-Directorate of Commerce and Tourism of the Government of Navarre submitted the request in April 2001, including a report from the City Council on the most relevant aspects of the enactment of the Mystery of Obanos. The Ministry’s response came in August of the same year via a letter from the Secretary General for Tourism, Juan José Güemes Barrios, communicating the decision to grant the requested honorary title to the soliciting party.
With this declaration, the enactment of the Mystery of Obanos would be included among the actions led by the State Secretary for Commerce and Tourism to promote the Festivities of National Tourist Interest.
This recognition, in 2001, constituted the most relevant event for the Mystery of Obanos Foundation, and certainly that with the greatest promise for its future.
Practically speaking, it meant that the enactment of the Mystery of Obanos would be included among the actions led by the State Secretary for Commerce and Tourism to promote the Festivities of National Tourist Interest.
The Mystery of Obanos Foundation was immediately aware of the importance of this step. Therefore, it spared no efforts in formalising what until then had amounted to little more than popular recognition. The Mystery of San Guillén and Santa Felicia had come to be considered as one of the most prestigious cultural manifestations with high touristic value, along with others of similar descriptions such as the Mystery Play of Elche.