The festivals and celebrations in Spain are full of life. Although Spain is widely known by Flamenco and bullfights, this country has several festivals and celebrations and most towns have their own in addition to the national ones. The majority of festivals in Spain are religious in origin, but, these days, this religious component of every celebration is usually secondary.
Below you’ll see a list with the most impressive festivals or “fiestas” in Spain:
» Carnival in Spain
During the Carnival celebrations in February there are several impressive festivities in all Spain, specially in Tenerife and Cádiz.
In fact, carnival in the Canary Islands and Cádiz are the bests Carnival celebrations in the world, after Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Trinidad.
In those cities, colourful processions are organised and participants wear extravagant costumes.
Generally, in many cities of Spain, people dress up and go out, and dance all night long. The Carnival celebrations end on Ash Wednesday with the traditional burial of the Sardine, this event marks the beginning of Lent.
» Seville April Fair Andalucia
Seville’s April Fair (La Feria de Abril) is a huge annual event which takes place in Seville – Andalucía – two weeks after Easter.
During this festival you have the opportunity to see the typical flamenco dress, which almost all women wear. Also you will hear the songs of the “cantaores” (flamenco singers) and enjoy the movements of the “bailaoras” (dancers).
» San Fermin Running of the Bulls, Pamplona
The festival of San Fermin is by far the best known event taking place in Pamplona. Every year from July 7th-14th thousands pack into Pamplona to start Spain’s most famous bull-running fiesta to honour Navarre capital’s patron saint, San Fermin.
The bull run is the most well known act of the Sanfermines and the reason why so many strangers want to come to Pamplona during these celebrations.
The bull running consists of running along certain stretches of the streets which have been previously walled off, and the aim of which is to take six bulls from the Santo Domingo corrals to the Bull Ring.
» La Tomatina in Buñol, Valencia. Tomato Festival
The “Tomatina” is the world’s biggest tomato fight and takes place at Bunyol near Valencia. On the last Wednesday of August this charming town erupts into a fiery blaze of tomato-hurling.
This fight takes place between 11am and 1pm on that day. Every year around 30,00 people descend on the Spanish town of Bunyol to throw more than 240,000 pounds of tomatoes at each other.
» Fallas Festival in Valencia
Las Fallas is, without doubt, one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain. The Fallas takes place every March in Valencia to celebrate the feast of San José, the patron saint of carpenters.
The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of “ninots” (huge cardboard statues made of wood and plaster) that are placed at over 350 key intersections and parks around the city. In fact, in all the town you will see these “ninots” which will be burned at the last day of the festival -March 19th- in a festival of fire, fireworks and organized mayhem.
» Festes de la Merce in Barcelona
La Merce, Barcelona’s biggest annual festival, takes place on 24th September and lasts for around 3 days. This is a festival held in honour of Mare de Deu de la Merce, the Patron Saint of Barcelona.
During this festival, fire-breathing dragons, costumed devils, human pyramids, Sardana dance groups, orchestras, DJs and big-name bands converge on Barcelona.
» San Isidro in Madrid
San Isidro is the patron saint of the peasants and is also the patron saint of Madrid. Madrid’s main annual festival includes nine days of celebrations as well as the start of the capital’s bullfighting season.
During these days of celebration many cultural events are offered to the people: contests of “chotis” (Madrid’s traditional dance), concerts of folk music, craftsmanship fairs, etc.