Spanish festivals, fiestas and carnivals come to identify the nation’s people as fun loving and accommodating. There is always something to celebrate in Spain as a new month ushers in more fun, and February is no exception.
There is plenty to keep the hardy festival goer busy this month, top February festivals in Spain include the Almond Festival, Gastro festival Madrid, San Cecilio Festival, Santa Agueda women’s festival, Santa Eulalia’s Day, as well as the San Valentine’s Day and the renowned Moors Versus Christian reenactments.
Moors versus Christians
This amazing festival can be seen in the town of Bocairante in the province of Valencia and celebrates the annual Moors versus Christians festivities in honour of Saint Blas the patron of the town. This is one of the oldest and most spectacular celebrations of its kind held in Spain. You will be entertained by street bands, dancing, amazing parades during the six days the festivities go on, not forgetting the deafening sound of gunpowder as it is fired off day and night. One of the main highlights is the Entra, with over 3.000 participants and a remarkable parade of floats.
You can also see the Moors Vs Christians battle reenactments in other towns around Valencia including Alcoy, Villajoyosa, Vilena and El Campello.
Los Carnivales – Variable dates
February is the start of the Spanish carnival season which offers some of the best celebrations anywhere in the world easily rivalling those of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The best are to be found in Tenerife and Cadiz where the street parties are world renowned. Colourful processions and extravagant costumes abound in many cities and usually commence on Ash Wednesday.
The Cadiz carnival is arguably one of the most extravagant parties around lasting some 10 days. A huge paper-mache sardine is mourned ( noisily ) as it makes its way along the Cadiz streets to its final resting place!
If you are planning to visit the Tenerife and Cadiz Carnivals be careful when planning your trip as the local accommodation is usually booked solid well in advance.
Gastro Festival Madrid – Variable dates
The Gastro Festival Madrid runs from around the third week in January through to the first week of February and is Madrid’s time of the year to celebrate Spain’s culinary culture. Here is chance to try out a huge range of national and international dishes held in restaurants and tapas bars located all around Madrid. Cocktail bars, gourmet shops, restaurants, museums, and art galleries are all incorporated in a city-wide gastronomic celebration. Our favourite is the Degustatapas a great way to try out as many tapas as you can eat for a one off fixed price or around 3€ , for that you get a drink of beer and one Tapa.
San Cecilio Festival Granada – First Sunday in February
Held on the first Sunday of February the San Cecilio fiesta celebrates the patron of Granada. Held mostly in the famous gypsy quarter of Sacramonte people gather by the town monastery to be entertained by the best flamenco acts as well as lots of partying. The festival is held in honour of San Cecilio who it is believed was killed and buried in the local monastery by the Romans.
The Almond Festival La Palma – Beginning of February
Each year at the beginning of February when almonds are plentiful, the locals on the island of La Palma on Gran Canaria gather around the market squares to embrace the many virtues of this versatile nut.
The fun includes participants competing to crush as many almonds as they can in 30 minutes. Participants and the spectators alike are entertained with live music from local orchestras and bands.
Santa Agueda Women’s Festival – Sunday closest to 5th February
Every year in the first week of February, the town of Zamarramala Segovia comes to life courtesy of the lively singing and dancing of the town’s women.
The Santa Agueda festival commemorates the battle of Segovia in which the Moors attacked and conquered the area in 1227. During the battle, the women entertained the Moors while they were battling to take over the town’s fortress.
Jumping the bonfires
Celebrated in Arizkun, Navarra. Quite a spectacle seeing thousands of people who line the Arizkun streets ready to jump over bonfires. This unusual and colourful tradition dates back to pagan times and said to encourage fertility and ward off evil spirits. The locals dress up in special costumes that look like a sheepskin coat, adorned with black pots, wearing maypole style hats and carrying brushes.
Sitges – Catalonia is home to the colourful Sitges Carnivals which are held at the end of February. This is a huge gay event and one of the most flamboyant in Spain with wild parties and which starts on Jueves Lardero (“Fatty Thursday”) with and an enormous feast of local dishes. There is a huge fun filled drag queen parade which works its way through the town on the Sunday and Tuesday.
February Festival Calendar
28th February – Dia de Andalucia – Andalucia Day
Variable Dates – Bocairente in Valencia. Re-enactment of the fight between Christians and Moors – parades and fireworks, colourful and spectacular full costume re enactments.
Variable Dates – Cadiz Carnivals. This is one of the the oldest festivals in Spain and includes parades , colourful costumes and many other events
Variable Dates – Madrid Carnivals . Masked ball, fancy dress and the ritual burial of a Sardine, followed by a concert in the Plaza Mayor.
Variable Dates – Sitges Carnivals – Catalonia. Huge Gay event and one of the most flamboyant in Spain with parties, street parades and a huge food feast.
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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