What festivals to enjoy in September

September is a great time to visit Spain and there are plenty of exciting festivals in September to choose from. Some of the highlights of this month include the San Sebastian film festival, the Rioja grape harvest, the Stomp festival, La Mercè as well as Tarragona’s Santa Tecla festival.



San Sebastian Film Festival

Many actors owe their success in film to this annual meet which was established in 1953.  The San Sebastian film festival  is by its own right one of the most important film cinematic celebrations  of the year.

Since its inception, some of the most iconic actors have graced the festival including Sigourney Weaver, Paul Verhoeven, Isabelle Huppert, Jennifer Connelly, Ewan McGregor and many more.

It is top notch film festival and well worth checking out if you plan to visit the Basque country in September.

Rioja Wine Harvest Festival

Rioja Wine Festival Spain

Logrono is the capital of the world renowned wine region of La Rioja in northern Spain, each year they celebrate the proceeds of the first harvest which is offered to La Rioja’s patron Our Lady of Valvanera.

The Rioja wine festival is held around the third weekend of September celebrating the feast of San Mateo of Logrono. Head down to the Paseo de Espolon in the heart of the city to enjoy the main festivities and the ceremony where grapes are carried from the local vineyards by children and poured into large wine barrels.  The grapes are then pressed by men dressed in traditional clothing in a large wooden tub.

While the men work hard to appease the saint, the rest of the town is normally engrossed in revelry including gastronomic tastings, theatre, live music concerts as well as bullfighting.

La Mercè Festival Barcelona

La Merce Festival Barcelona
La Merce festival  is the biggest in Barcelona  and 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 artists get to perform amongst the public and this literally takes the fever pitch of the festival to new levels.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 Castellers build a human tower and to have a young child climb to the top. This is one sight that will remain in your memory long after you leave Barcelona.

Other highlights include the giants parade held in the Placa de Juame where giant effigies of kings, queens and nobles march through the streets. In the same city square in the evening you can enjoy images and video which is projected onto the surrounding buildings.

Santa Tecla Festival Tarragona

The best way to learn about Spain’s past is to indulge in Tarragona’s  Santa Tecla festival,  the celebrations feature rock music drama plays, some jazz, movies, sports, and parties with a historical reflection.

The essence of the festivities has however been in the dances, which also get a lot of airtime during the celebrations.

Jerez Wine Festival

Jerez Bodegas
Jerez Bodegas

Jerez is a charming traditional city in the heart of Andalucia and the annual wine festival is well worth a visit. The festival takes place on the first Saturday of September and is held to honor and bless the Autumn grape harvest.

The Jerez wine festival is held over a three week period and and features endless sherry tastings, traditional dance, performances, music, horse shows and flamenco events.

There is a real authentic atmosphere around Jerez at the best of times so the annual sherry fest is very special and if you enjoy this famous tipple and wish to learn about how it is made then this festival is for you.

Feria de Torremolinos

If you are holidaying on the Costa del Sol during September then this is must festival to visit. The Feria de Torremolinos held in honor of the patron Saint Miguel is usually held the last week of September.

Part of the celebrations is the annual Romeria, a catholic pilgrimage where participants travel on horse and carts, floats, walking and on horseback to a local countryside destination where the party of music and dancing goes on all day.

The Feria de Torremolinos festival features, a large dedicated area with amusements, dance halls, music events, flamenco dancing, lots of food stalls, fireworks and street processions.

September Festival Calendar Spain

6th to 10th September – Alicante –  Virgen del Socorro. The Ravel quarter organises a feast in honour of its patron saint. It includes processions, cooking competitions, dancing and other games.

1st September –  Melilla, Ceuta  – Regional day – Festival of Abraham’s Sacrifice
8th September   – Asturias –  Day of Extremadura
11th September – Dia de Catalonia –  Lots  of flag waving and local patriotism with demonstrations celebrating the region’s independence.
15th September – Day of the Bien Aparecida  the patron saint of Cantabria
15th to 24th September – Festival of St Tecla  Sitges – Tarragona
Variable Dates – Rioja Wine Harvest Festival
Variable Dates – La Merce Festival Barcelona
Variable Dates – San Sebastian Film Festival

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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