Where To Find The Best Festivals And Fiestas Around Spain
Spanish festivals take place in every city, town and village throughout Spain at some point during the year and are one of the major attractions for people visiting Spain. Some of the best festivals and fiestas in Spain have deep religious and historical meaning whilst others are simply meant for partying and having fun.
Our festival guide offers you information on the most popular and colourful festivals Spain has to offer including the famous La Tomatina, the Three Kings and holey week
A trip to Spain should always include a visit to at least one the top festival, fiesta or carnival, so prepare your holiday calendar and let us help you search the best, brightest, most colourful and bizarre festivals Spain has to offer.
Check out our travel resource page to help with your travel arrangements, there are plenty of holiday deals to be had if you look hard enough!
La Tomatina – Tomato Festival
The Tomatina festival in one of the most unique and fun in Spain, held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol, Valencia.
La Tomatina has to be the biggest food fight you will ever take part in, This is where hundreds of tons of overripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets by thousands of festival goers. It is typically a tomato war using ripe squashed tomatoes hurled between participants leaving everyone dripping with bright red sweet smelling tomato juice.
There are no winners just people having fun and enjoying being part of this unusual Spanish festival. Your task is grab ripe tomatoes and throw them at other revelers. There are a few rules though, the main one being that you have to squash the tomatoes in your hands before you can throwing them.
Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
One of the most famous colourful festivals in Spain are the carnivals of Santa Cruz de Tenerife held during the month of February of each year. The carnival resembles those held in Brazil and features parades with floats and bands who perform different types of songs during the street parades, the carnival costumes are stunning and a delight to see.
The parades move through the streets alongside energetic musical groups and well-dressed performers and the superbly dressed ladies who enchant spectators with their rhythmic dance moves.
Some of the colourful costumes can weigh well over 100 kilos, taking months to prepare as well as the many hours of practice required to be able to move freely in such a huge costume.
San Fermin Fiestas Pamplona
This bull running festival usually takes place the second week and is a festival that brings the party to every corner of the city of Pamplona, the festival starts by setting off a big bang firework known as the Chupinazo from the mayor’s balcony. The bull run run starts from the Plaza Santo Domingo and winds through the ancient streets of Pamplona ending at the bullring.
This is one of the most popular, if not risky, festivals held in Spain and the most represented by global visitors seeking the undeniable rush you get from being chased by an angry bull.
Semana Santa – Easter Holy Week
The Semana Santa holy week is among the most important religious festivals in Spain, where Catholics mourn the final days of Christ on earth and the grief of the Virgin Mary.
It is held on the week leading to Easter Sunday, throughout the entire week, processions parade along prepared routes in most towns, cities and villages in Spain. The climax of the celebrations are the Good Friday processions where the floats leave the churches in the middle of the night and are carried throughout the night to their final destination: the cathedral.
The Fallas of Valencia
The Fallas of Valencia are visually one of the most spectacular Fiestas you will come across in Spain. In mid-March, Valencia lights up its streets for an entire week of celebration and parties.
Locals create giant paper mache figures representing notable people as well traditional figures, these are then displayed in the city during the entire week.
The celebrations come to an enigmatic end when all the figures are burned down in one of the most amazing bonfires you will ever see.
The Great Wine Fight – La Batalla de Vino de Haro
This mighty wine fighting festival takes place each year in the picturesque village of Haro usually during the last week of June each year.
The location is the beautiful Rioja wine growing region of northern Spain, for wine and party lovers this is must visit festival in Spain.
It is held on St Peters day to honour the local wine production, and where locals and visitors climb a mountain and throw wine over each other, what could be more fun!
The region of Haro is one of Rioja’s top wine producing municipalities with over 40% of the areas vineyards located here, the producing of superior quality wine is the mainstay of the local economy and celebrated in style each year.
La Noche de San Juan – The Night of Saint John
If your into an all night beach parties then the annual San Juan fiesta are for you. It is held around the 23rd of June each year up and down the coastal areas of Spain most notably in Andalucia where the warm temperature make for a perfect all night party.
This ancient pagan festival is now legendary for its night long beach party which includes music, dance and tremendous fun.
The night is all about fire and water and 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 must jump over a fire three times.
La Merce Festival Barcelona
La Merce festival is the biggest in Barcelona which includes numerous live concerts, parades, fireworks and the famous human towers. This is Barcelona’s way of ushering in autumn and includes music, arts, acrobatic shows, and street processions among 500 fun activities.
The highlights of this important festival include the amazing Castellers – human towers – which takes place at the Placa de Jaume.
Try to get there early as many thousands of people pack out the town square to watch the building of the human towers culminating in youngsters climbing to the top, this unique festival will surely remain in your memory long after you leave Barcelona.
Three Kings Day – January 6th
This festival is held between the evening of January 5th and the main event on the 6th which is a national holiday. It is probably the most eagerly awaited festival by every child in the land. Whole communities come out and participate in street processions where children are gifted with candy thrown from the floats.
The real fun comes in the form of colourful processions which take place in the early evening of the 6th January. Streets fill up with decorated floats meandering slowly through the towns where thousands of kilos of sweets are thrown into the beckoning crowds. A mad dash ensues by young ( and old ! ) to pick up the caramelos ( sweets ). The main float carries the three kings bearing even more gifts which are duly thrown out at the children lining the streets.
San Isidro Madrid
May is a fun time to be in Madrid as the San Isidro festivals takes over the city for the whole month. During the day, the locals are treated to live music concerts in city squares, which later culminate in all night parties.
The fiestas de San Isidro are one of the largest festivals in Spain so it’s well worth spending a few days in the capital to enjoy the huge variety of attractions and activities on offer.
The festival commemorates the patron saint of Madrid, San Isidro, and are eagerly awaited as they herald in spring time. Lasting five days visitors can enjoy over 50 concerts of varying musical styles, theatre, street dance performers, children’s activities, street processions and lots more!
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The top festivals and fiestas by month
Public holiday calendar in Spain
Jan 1st – New Years Day – Ano Nuevo
Jan 6th – 12th night, The Three Kings – Dia de los Reyes
Mar 19th – Fathers Day – San Jose
Variable – Good Friday – Viernes Santo
May 1st – Labour Day – Dia del Trabajador
Aug 15th – Assumption – Dia del 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