Festivals in Spain
The Best Carnivals, Fiestas and Festivals in Spain
Spanish people are known all over the world for their love of partying and enjoying themselves to the fullest and they certainly know how to put on a good display when it comes to festivals in Spain. They make the most extravagant displays of affection for partying and celebrating in the popular festivals or ferias as known in their local tongue. These festivals take place in almost all the towns and villages throughout Spain. Some of the best festivals and fiestas in Spain have deep religious and historical meaning to the locals while others are simply meant for partying and having fun. The following are among the best festivals in Spain.
1) La Tomatina
This festival is held on the last Wednesday of August each year in Bunol, Valencia. The Tomatina is a festival where tons of overripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets for one hour. It is typically a war of ripe tomatoes where people throw ripe tomatoes at each other that leave them red all over with tomato juice. The funniest part is that there are no winners as people just do this for fun and to enjoy themselves. You simply have to grab ripe tomatoes and throw them at anyone running, bending down, standing still, or moving. The rule for this festival is you have to squish the tomatoes before you can throw them at somebody else.
2) Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
One of the most famous festivals in Spain is the carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is usually held in February of each year. This festival resembles the ones held in Brazil that features parades with floats and bands who perform different types of songs through the streets. The colours and costumes worn during this festival are stunning and are a delight to see. The parades move through the streets with energetic musical groups and well-dressed performers. The most beautiful scene of this festival is the parade of pretty, well-dressed young ladies who enchant viewers with their way of dancing. Their costumes can weigh over a 100 kilos, and it takes them months of practice to come up with the most amazing costumes to be used during the Tenerife carnivals.
3) San Fermin
This festival takes place from July 6th to the 14th each year. It is a festival that brings the party to every corner of the city of Pamplona. The festival starts by setting off the pyrotechnic Chupinazo from the mayor’s balcony. The celebration is fun and full of dance and song. The fanous part of festival is the amazing Bull Run, which takes place every morning at 8 a.m. The run starts from Santo Domingo and goes through the streets to the bullring. Thousands of runners and spectators wall off the bulls so that they cannot escape until they reach the bullring. And on the 14th, the mayor comes out and announces the end of the festival. It is one of those festivals in Spain you should not miss. This is one of the most popular festivals and fiestas of Spain and the most represented by visitors from all over the world seeking the undeniable rush you get from being chased by an angry bull.
4) Semana Santa
The Semana Santa holy week is among the most important festivals in Spain. It is a religious celebration among the Catholics who mourn the final days of Christ on Earth and at the same time sympathize with the grief of the Virgin Mary. It is held on the week leading to Easter Sunday. Throughout the entire week, processions consisting of big floats are usually paraded all over the streets. The climax of the celebrations is the procession of Good Friday whereby the floats leave the churches in the middle of the night and they are carried throughout the night to their final destination: the cathedral.
5) San Juan
If your into an all night beach party then the annual San Juan fiesta are for you. It is held on the 24th June each year up and down the coastal areas of Spain most notably in Andalucia where the warm temperature makes for a perfect all night party. This ancient pagan fiesta is now legendary for its all night long party beach party of music, dance and fun is had by all. The night is all about fire and water and it where young and old congregate to build fires and enjoy the shortest night of the year. According to tradition to be cleansed and purified you musts jump over the fires three times.
6) Sonar Music Festival of Barcelona
Some 80,000 visitors each year make it to this prestigious festival to take in the splendour of multimedia arts and concert exhibitions. The main celebrations of the Sonar Music Festival are held around the Raval District where tourists can visit the Museum of Modern Art and the Contemporary Culture Centre. All electronic music lovers have no genuine reason to miss this because apart from the big international acts, underground and experimental artists also get a chance to share the platform.
7) Granada’s Ham and Water Festival
Granada has the best ham in this part of the world as well as one of the best fiestas you will find in Spain. The ham and pure water from the natural springs of Alpujarras provide two key ingredients for celebrating Saint John the Baptist’s Day. Water buckets, hose pipes and water guns get blazing at the stroke of midnight. Anyone who crosses the path of water is drenched in an entire day of almost maniac water fights. The night is then celebrated with copious amounts of beer as well as large chunks of the finest local ham.
8) A Colourful Spectacle
It’s hard to beat the experience of arriving in some small Spanish village, expecting no more than a bed for the night, to discover the streets decked out with flags and streamers, a band playing in the plaza and the entire population out celebrating the local fiesta. Everywhere in Spain, from the tiniest hamlet to the great cities, devotes at least a couple of days a year to their festivals. Usually it’s the local saint’s day, but there are celebrations of harvests, of deliverance from the Moors, of safe return from the sea – any excuse will do.
9) San Isidro
Madrid’s free pass to drink is normally granted in the month of May when the whole city celebrates its patron saint. During the day, the city dwellers are normally engrossed in live music concerts in city squares, which later culminate in drinking frenzies that take up all night. During this period, there is lots of bullfighting going on featuring some of the best bulls in the world. This is one of the few fiestas Spain uses to define her culture.
The top festivals and Fiestas month by month
The public holiday calender in Spain
|Jan 1st||New Years Day – Año Nuevo|
|Jan 6th||Dia de los Reyes – 12th night, The Three Kings|
|Mar 19th||Fathers Day – San Jose|
|Variable||Good Friday -Viernes Santo|
|Variable||Easter Sunday -Dia de Pascua|
|May 1st||Labour Day – Dia del trabajo|
|Aug 15th||Assumption – Asuncion|
|Oct 12th||Spanish National Day – Dia de la Hispanidad|
|Nov 1st||All Saints Day – Todos los Santos|
|Dec 6th||Constitution Day – Dia de la Constitucion|
|Dec 8th||Immaculate Conception – Imaculada Concepcion|
|Dec 25th||Christmas Day – Navidad|