The Biznaga

Biznaga – The flower of Malaga

Biznagas – a pretty white scented flower arrangement that are recognised as the flower of Malaga and symbol of the city. Quite often when visiting the city or its beaches it is not un common for you  to come across flower sellers selling baskets of these pretty delicate flowers.

Biznaga for weddings

For any brides planning a truely Spanish themed wedding these pretty floral creations make the perfect wedding table centre piece or even bridal bouquet.

Origin of the Biznaga and how to make them

The word biznaga comes from the Arabic and means “a gift of God”. In the old days it was used as an air freshener due to its pleasant fragrance, and as a natural mosquito repellent. Now it has become a decoration, as well as one of the emblems of Malaga.

Biznagas are handmade, using jasmine and the stalk of a wild flower which is a kind of thistle that is collected in late spring. The jasmine flowers are inserted onto the umbels of the thistle when they are still closed. In the evening, the flowers open up, releasing their characteristic fragrance.

There are many types of jasmine but the one most frequently used is the Royal Jasmine, which is white and has a sweet aroma.

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The Biznaguero

A biznaguero is the man who sells bizanagas on the street. He wears traditional dress and normally carries the biznagas stuck into a prickly pear leaf (or piece of oasis). The biznaguero is also given the task of making the biznagas and he must get ready to do so long before summer. He collects the thistle heads in late spring, before the heat starts. Then he removes the leaves and unwanted stalks, until only the part that will serve to make the biznaga is left. Then, he leaves the stalks to dry out and turn brown so they will be rigid enough to bear the jazmine. When summer comes, the biznaguero collects the prickly pear leaves and removes the prickles. Finally, he gathers the jasmine.

Málaga Film Festival and Fair

One of the most important events for selling biznagas is during the Málaga Fair, which is held in August. Calle Larios almost becomes a street market, with biznagueros offering the fragrant little bouquets to visitors.

The biznagas also play a major role in the Málaga Spanish Film Festival. Each year, the winners are awarded a silver-plated biznaga. The coveted Golden Bizanaga is the maximum award.

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