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FIESTAS


Spain is well known for its fiestas, over the years, local traditions have turned into internationally renowned popular festivals. There is no village or city in Spain that does not have its own fiesta or celebration. If you travel to Spain probably you will coincide by chance in any of them. There are specific dates that coincide in most places that there are festivities: Carnival, Easter, summer, early December and Christmas.

Due to the Catholic tradition, most festivities in Spain have a religious origin. Special mention should be made to the Holy Week. In all regions you will find masses and processions for several days, in addition  this you will also be able to find  various events and activities.

The cities that Holy Week has been declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest are:

Andalusia: Málaga, Seville and Granada
Extremadura: Cáceres
Castile- La Mancha, Cuenca, Hellín (Albacete)
Castile-Leon: Salamanca, Valladolid, Zamora, León and Medina de Río Seco (Valladolid)
Murcia region: Murcia, Cartagena and Lorca.
Comunidad Valenciana: Orihuela (Alicante)

Here, we have selected the fiestas the most we like and also the most important ones of each region of Spain.

 Andalusia
 Aragón  Asturias
 Basque Country  Balearic Islands
 Canary Islands, The
 Cantabria  Castile-La Mancha
 Castile-Leon
 Catalonia  Extremadura
 Galicia
 La Rioja
 Madrid  Navarre
 Region of Murcia  Region of Valencia
 




ANDALUSIA



CARRERAS DE CABALLOS DE SANLÚCAR (SANLÚCAR HORSE RACING)


Municipality: Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Province: Cádiz
Date: August

This is an English-style equestrian competition with more than 200 horses competing by the seashore. These races are held on the beach of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The start time of the competition is subject to the tide, as this occurs when there is low tide. Hundreds of people stick together to see this wonderful postcard that if it is accompanied with the sunset, becomes one of the most beautiful pictures of the andalusian dusk.



FERIA DE ABRIL (APRIL FAIR)


Municipality: Seville
Province: Seville
Date: 2 weeks after Easter

In the district of Los Remedios are assembled hundreds of marquees where groups of friends of Seville and their guests meet to listen and dance "Sevillanas" (Andalusian dance and type of song) throughout the day. Dressed in traditional andalusian costumes spend hours talking and laughing while tasting the typical products of the region and drink a glass of "fino" (type of dried sherry). There are few marquees with public access; most of them are for members or by invitation. Still ,on the streets of the Fair can also be experienced the atmosphere. You can stroll and enjoy the dances as well as see the majestic horses and horse carts.


CARNIVAL OF CÁDIZ


Municipality: Cádiz
Province: Cádiz
Date: the 10 days preceding Ash Wednesday

For several days you will find in the city of Cadiz the streets full of fun and joy and local people singing the typical “chirigotas”. These are a type of song with funny lyrics often on topical issues such as political or gossips magazines. Each year it is held a competition for the best chirigota. If you go, do not forget that it is obligatory to be dressed up.

FIESTAS DE LOS PATIOS CORDOBESES (FESTIVAL OF THE PATIOS OF CÓRDOBA)


Municipality: Cordoba
Province: Cordoba
Date: second or third weekend in May

During these festivities the patios of the houses of the old town of Cordoba are open to the public. Grilles, balconies and patios are decorated with pots of geraniums, carnations and jasmine to finally compete for the prettiest. Residents show their patios while listening to flamenco and offer the traditional tapas.


FERIA DEL CABALLO ( HORSE FAIR)


Municipality: Jerez de la Frontera
Province: Cádiz
Date: 3 weeks after Easter

Its origin dates back to 1284 when it was a cattle market. Its evolution has turned it into an amazing parade of specimens of thoroughbred horses as well as contests and competitions. During the days of the fair all kinds of activities related to horses are taking place and the park "Gonzalez Hontoria" is full of hundreds of horse specimens. We also find stalls which have a different theme each year. In them you can taste wine, eat typical products and dance “Sevillanas”. Every day there are events, activities, fairs and all sort of offer to enjoy late into the night.

Granada Tourist Offices

Malaga Tourist Offices





ARAGÓN


FIESTAS DEL PILAR


Municipality:  Zaragoza
Province: Zaragoza
Date: week of 12th October

The feast of the Virgen del Pilar is the most important celebration in Zaragoza. For several days you can enjoy a variety of activities: theater, concerts, children's activities, dancing, bull fighting, music festivals and more. The big day is the 12th when a parade of people dressed in regional costumes will make an offering of flowers to the patron saint of Aragón and Spain   in “La Plaza del Pilar”square.




ASTURIAS


DESCENSO DEL RÍO SELLA (DESCENT OF THE RIVER SELLA)


Municipality: From Arriondas to Ribadasella
Date: first Saturday in August.

Thousands of professional canoeists from around the world come every year to Asturias to make the descent of the river Sella. The route consist of 20 Kms and goes from the beginning in the village of Arriondas to the finish in Ribadasella bridges. Once the winner crosses the finish line the party will continues in Los Campos de Oda where prizes will be given and also will follow a meal with cider, singing, dancing and joy. If you want to continue until late at night, the party continues in Ribadasella.





BASQUE  COUNTRY


LA TAMBORRADA


Municipality: San Sebastián
Province: Guipúzcua
Date: 20 January

The festival begins at 00:00 on 20th when the tamborrada Gaztelubide (group of drum players) raise the flag in La Plaza de la Constitución. The next day hundreds of people playing the drum pass through all neighborhoods of the city accompanied by orchestras. It can be distinguished between the child and the adult Tamborrada. These latter may be formed only by men or women or mixed. The festival ends at 24:00 pm when a Tamborrada is responsible for lowering the flag.




BILBAO BIG WEEK


Municipality: Bilbao
Province: Vizcaya
Date: Saturday after 15 August


For nine days the streets of Bilbao are filled with groups of music and acts.  The fiestas start at Plaza del Teatro Arriaga with the launch of “txupin” rocket and reading of the opening speech. From this moment every day you can enjoy of concerts, plays in the streets, fireworks and parades of cabezudos (bigheaded figures).





BALEARIC ISLANDS


FIESTA DE SAN SEBASTIÁN (ST. STEBAN FESTIVITY)


Municipality: Palma de Mallorca
Island: Mallorca
Date: 20 January


On this day it is celebrated the patron saint of Palma de Mallorca. For several days take place in the city: concerts, bonfires, fireworks, festivals and gastronomic tasting. On the other side, in Muro and Soller, 4 days before, takes place the festival of “Foguer” where local people dance around a bonfire all night long.

SAN JUAN


Municipality: Ciudadela
Island: Menorca
Date: 23 and 24 June

The party begins on 23rd at 14:00 when "fablioler" requests permission to begin the withdrawal of horses. Ciudadela streets, crowded of people, are filled with horses circling around and rearing up on their hind legs. The bravest people dare to touch the horse's back. The next day is celebrated an equestrian exhibition with games and after this the closing of the festival.




CANARY ISLANDS,THE


CARNIVAL OF SANTA CRUZ


Municipality Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Island: Tenerife
DATE: February or March, depending on the year.

This carnival was the first one in Spain and is the most important worldwide after the carnival of Rio de Janeiro.
During a week, thousands of people fill the streets of the city for the sole purpose of having fun. They dance to the sound of all kinds of music from Caribbean to techno style music. Every day there are parades where groups of people compete between each other for the best costume. One of the most important events is the election of the Queen of Carnival between all the beauties.




 

CANTABRIA



SEMANA GRANDE DE SANTANDER (BIG WEEK OF SANTANDER)


Municipality: Santander
Date: Week of July 25

It is the most important festival in the city of Santander and  you will find bullfighting, concerts, marquees, fireworks and much more. Also during these days takes place a food fair where you can enjoy the best "tapas".





CASTILE-LA MANCHA



ALBACETE FAIR


Municipality: Albacete
Province: Albacete
Date:  7-17 September

For ten days marquees are assembled in Albacete Trade Fair where you can taste typical products of Albacete, buy handicrafts, toys, clothes and much more. Also,   you will find attractions for children. At the same time you can enjoy concerts, parades, bullfighting and sporting events. In this fair, always full of people, you will have fun any time of day.



LA ENDIABLADA


Municipality: Almonacid de Marquesado
Province: Cuenca
Date: 2-3 February


A group of men and boys (devils), wearing a cylindrical hat decorated with floral prints and flowery clothes, walk and dance through the streets of the village for several days. These are led by the "Diablo Mayor" (Mayor Devil), group’s oldest person, who is dressed in red to differentiate from the others. From their waists a bell hangs that produces a deafening noise.


CORPUS CHRISTI


Municipality: Toledo
Province: Toledo
Date: 60 days after Easter Sunday



It is a religious procession that takes place on the day of Corpus Christi and is presided by the Primate Cardinal of Spain. The streets of Toledo are decorated with canopies, wreaths and lights and the floors with aromatic herbs just for the procession. The manor houses and palaces open their doors in order to allow people to admire their yards. During these days you can also enjoy other events like concerts, shows and sporting events.





CASTILE-LEON


FEAST OF SAN FROILÁN


Municipality: Leon
Province: Leon
Date: 05 October

For 5 days the city of Leon celebrates the feast of San Froilán. You can enjoy a medieval market, competitions and parades of “carros engalanados” (decorated horse-carriage) and “Pendones Leoneses” (historical flags). On day 5 takes place the San Froilán pilgrimage to the Virgen del Camino. Hundreds of people accompany this procession to finally pull the nose to the Saint as tradition says. Besides all this you can enjoy concerts, gastronomic tasting, dances, celebrations and activities for children.


VIRGEN DE LA VEGA FAIR


Municipality: Salamanca
Province: Salamanca
Date: 08 September

In this fair you can enjoy a diverse program with parades, concerts, festivals, theaters, medieval markets, games, sports and spectacular bullfighting.  You can’t miss the best bullfighters and cattle during these days in Salamanca.







CATALONIA


DÍA DE SANT JORDI (ST. JORDI DAY)


Municipality: Barcelona
Province: Barcelona
Date: 23 April

Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia. The neighborhoods of the city and Las Ramblas are filled with stalls of books and flowers. The tradition says that it should be given away a rose to women and a book to men.  This festival would be like a Valentines Day.


FIESTAS DE LA MERCÉ (LA MERCÉ FESTIVAL)


Municipality: Barcelona
Province: Barcelona
Date: 24 September

This day is celebrated as it is the patron saint of Barcelona. For several days there are various events and concerts in different parts of the city. You can also find street parades, dances of "Sardana" (typical Catalan dance) and sports competitions.


LA PATUM


Municipality: Berga
Province: Barcelona
Date: Wednesday of Corpus

This festivity was declared by UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The celebration consists of the dancing to the sound of drums and music of mystical and symbolic figures. The festivities last for five days and you can also enjoy a children's Patum.





EXTREMADURA


THEATRE FESTIVAL IN MÉRIDA


Municipality: Mérida
Province: Mérida
Date: July and August

This Classical Theatre festival is the oldest in Spain and largest in the world. For two months you can see theatrical performances in the Amphitheatre and the Roman Theatre in Mérida. The Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.




GALICIA


FIESTA DEL MARISCO (FIESTA IN HONOUR OF SEAFOOD)


Municipality: O Grove
Province: Pontevedra
Date: October

If you love seafood this is your festival. For several days, all kinds of activities related to this are held in this town. You can also taste the best seafood of Spain with all its freshness in the booths that are set up for these days.


FIESTAS DE SANTIAGO APOSTOL (FIESTA IN HONOUR OF SAINT JAMES THE APOSTLE)


Municipality: Santiago de Compostela
Province: La Coruña
Date:  25th  July

St. James is the patron saint of Spain and Galicia. The discovery of the tomb of the Apostle led  Santiago de Compostela to become a holy city with Jerusalem and Rome and, also, as a result of this gave rise to the famous  Way of St. James.
During 10 days you can enjoy in the city all kinds of events, exhibitions, theater performances, concerts and more. During the night of 24th in Plaza del Obradoiro there are fireworks in honor of the Apostle and are accompanied by a great castle of pyrotechnics that simulates the Gothic façade of the Cathedral.


ROMERÍA VIKINGA (VIKING FESTIVAL)


Municipality: Catoira
Province: Pontevedra
Date: First Sunday in August

This festival is an outdoor play; the attack of Vikings to the village by sea. Begins at 10 am with performances of folk groups and ends at night with the open-air dance. Throughout the day you can enjoy the wide variety of Galicia gastronomic products: mussels, sardine or tuna pie, wine, cooked octopus, etc.
 

INTERNATIONAL CELTIC FESTIVAL


Municipality: Ortigueira
Province: La Coruña
Date: the second two weekends in July

It is one of the world's largest festivals of Celtic and folk music, attracts thousands of people and is free. Apart from the concerts, activities such as dance, photography and craft workshops are also organized.

RAPA DAS BESTAS


Municipality: Sabucedo
Province: Pontevedra
Date: early July

This festival dates back to the XV century and its protagonist is the confrontation between man and horse. At dawn Sabucedo’s and surroundings areas young people will look for wild horses in the mountains. When they find them they will lead them to the village where they will cut their manes. Several men take the horse from different points in order to do this. The struggle between horse and man becomes a wonderful show. During this day you can also taste the typical local products.





LA RIOJA


BATLE OF WINE


Municipality: Haro
Date: 29 June

In Haro is celebrated the day of San Pedro in a particular way; with a battle of wine. During a morning different groups of people take part of a peaceful battle of liters and liters of wine without a break.

VENDIMIA RIOJANA (GRAPE HARVEST FESTIVAL)


Municipality: Logroño
Date: 21 September

For a whole week Logroño celebrates the festivals of the Rioja Wine Harvest or also known as the Feast of San Mateo. The protagonists of these festivities are the wine and grapes. Stands out among the events the act in which men dressed in regional costumes tread the grapes to make the first must and give it to the Virgin of Valvanera. You can enjoy these days of concerts, theater, music, bullfighting, and food tasting.




MADRID


SAN ISIDRO FAIR


City: Madrid
Date: Week of 15 May

The festivities of the capital of Spain are in honor of San Isidro who performed many miracles in the XII century. This day is celebrated in the streets of Madrid with concerts, festivals and traditional food tasting like stew, “callos” (tripes) or rosquillas (typical sweet). The venue where usually take place is Vistillas Park and La Padrera de San Isidro.






NAVARRE


SAN FERMIN


Municipality: Pamplona
Date: 6 - 14 July

Thousands of people go to Pamplona each year to attend one of the most internationally famous festivals. Visitors are dressed in red and white traditional custom and each day are expectant of the running of the bulls. These consist of race in front of a herd of bulls through the streets of the Old Town up to the bullring. These celebrations are accompanied by cabezudos (bigheaded figures) parades in the morning, festivals, concerts and non-stop entertainment throughout the day.




REGION OF MURCIA


CANTE DE LAS MINAS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL


Municipality: La Unión
Date: Eleven days after the first Wednesday of August

Do not miss the world's largest flamenco festival held in La Unión old public market. There are three types of competition ("singing", "dancing and" guitar playing ") where the youngest artists compete. You can also enjoy performances by more established artists. During these days there are other activities such as exhibitions, wine tastings, films, madrugás flamencas, literary presentations, poetry readings and courses.


FIESTAS DE LA SANTÍSIMA VERA CRUZ


Municipality: Caravaca de la Cruz
Date: 1- 5 May

This fiesta commemorates the apparition of the Holy Cross in the ancient fortress of the Moorish King Abu-Zayt, in the XIII century. There are two important events during the fiestas: the parades of Moors and Christians and the horses of the wine. The first refers to the battles between Muslims and Christians during the Muslim invasions. The second is a horse race up the hill to the castle of the town. Parades, processions and fireworks and various events complete these fiestas.

ENTIERRO DE LA SARDINA (BURIAL OF THE SARDINE)


Municipality: Murcia
Date: the week after Easter

This festival symbolized the end of Carnival and the beginning of a period of austerity. It is a carnival parade where people participating feign the pain because a sardine will be buried. A giant sardine, stuck in a coffin, presides a parade and in the end this will be burnt. From the carriages of the parade toys are thrown to the observers. There also marquees on the streets of Murcia where you will be able to find always fun.





REGION OF VALENCIA



HOGUERAS DE SAN JUAN (SAN JUAN BONFIRES)


Municipality: Alicante
Province: Alicante
Date: 20- 24 June

Alicante's streets are filled with booths where you can taste typical dishes. On the beach there are fireworks competitions and even in the old town a medieval market. All neighborhoods are filled with giant figures depicting scenes from different themes, usually being critical to current issues. These figures go to competition and the one to win will get rid of being burned at 24:00 on 23rd. Also in this magical night people will go to ask for their wish at the beach. Every day you will have guaranteed nightlife.


CERTAMEN INTERNACIONAL DE HABANERAS Y POLIFONÍAS (INTERNATIONAL HABANERAS AND POLIPHONY CONTEST)


Municipality: Torrevieja
Province: Alicante
Date: July

The habanera comes from decades ago when Torrevieja sailors went to Cuba to trade and from their stays there, they brought this marvelous and sweet song.
Since 1955 choirs from almost all parts of the world participate in this internationally renowned contest.


EL MISTERIO DE ELCHE (THE MISTERY OF ELCHE)


Municipality: Elche
Province: Alicante
Date:  14 and 15 august

This representation has been declared by UNESCO a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
It is a drama sung in ancient Valencian language and stems from medieval roots. This represents the Dormition, Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin Mary. It is the only lyric drama that occurs inside a church, the Basilica of Santa Maria.

LAS FALLAS


Municipality: Valencia
Province: Valencia
Date: 15- 19 March 

The city streets are full of giant figures that become real works of art. These compete between each other and the one that wins escape from being burned on the night of 19th. Besides these figures there are marquees where you can taste typical dishes of Valencia and dancing until late.

Valencia Tourist Offices

LA TOMATINA


Municipality: Buñol
Province: Valencia
Date: Last Wednesday of August

Tourists from all over world attend this world-famous festival every year. The festival lasts several days but the big day is when there is a battle of tomatoes in the town square. Before this, it is raised a ham on a pole and young people compete to get it. When the winner manage to catch it is when the battle begins. During the previous days you will find fun at all hours of the day in an international atmosphere.


MOROS Y CRISTIANOS (MOORS AND CHRISTIANS)

 
Municipality: La Villajoyosa
Province: Alicante
Date 24-31 July

This is a very traditional kind of festival that takes place in several towns in the province of Alicante. This feast commemorates the battles that took place between Muslims and Christians during the Muslim invasion. At these festivals, battles are simulated while also there are complementary leisure activities for the duration thereof. The festival of Moors and Christians in Villajoyosa is very important and differs to the others as this represents a landing. With an antiquity of more than 250 years commemorate what happened in 1538, when the Barbary pirates led by Zále-Arraez, tried to attack the city. These celebrations are in honor of Santa Marta as she saw them and warned the population therefore avoiding the attack.








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