in Spain: Festivals|
Tomatina¨ - Valencia Tomato Fight Festival|
August. Bunol. Valencia.
Every year around 30,00 people descend on the Spanish town of Bunol (in the Valencia
region of Spain) to throw more than 240,000 pounds of tomatoes at each other as
part of the La Tomatina festival.
de San Sebastian/The San Sebastian Drum Festival. |
January. San Sebastian,
A march to the deafening sounds of drums, as groups of drummers
parade through the city on the night of the first day of the year. The next morning,
the "Tamborrada Infantil" (Child Drummer's Ceremony) is celebrated.
Endiablada/The Disguised Devils|
February. Cuenca, Castilla y La Mancha.
People of this village celebrate disguised as devils in this festival of
prehistoric origin. The young boys of the town dressed as devils - wearing pants
and jackets painted in bright designs, with large cowbells tied to their waists,
and multicolored paper hats, which are replaced later on with cardboard bishop
mitres - run through the streets, dance at the entrance and inside the church,
pretend to wash the statue of San Blas, and march in procession with it to the
uninterrupted sound of the cowbells.
de San Jose|
This Fiesta dates from the Middle Ages,
but it did not acquire the personality we know today until the middle of the last
century. The festivites include a nighttime parade; a procession of the old towns
of Valencia; the offerings of flowers to Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados (Our
Lady of the Forsaken), patroness of the city; and the famous "Nit del Foc"
(Night of the Fire), on which all the "fallas" (grotesque and humorous
scenes made up of carboard figures) are burned.
de Abril/April Fair|
April. Sevilla, Andalucia.
Shortly after Holy
Week, the Seville Fair opens, brimming over with joy and full of spectacularity.
Morning, evening and night - the height being at midday during the long cavalcade
of riders, and late at night when the spirit takes over the thousand throats of
the "cantaores" (flamenco singers) and the legs and arms of the "bailaoras"
(dancers) with their four sevillanas - the Real de la Feria blazes with multicolored
tents, wreaths and paper lanterns outlined against the sky.
|Fiesta de Moros
y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) |
April 22 to April 24. Alicante, Valencia.
Starting with the feast of the Holy Christ, in Valverde del Jucar (Cuenca)
in January and ending with the "Moorish King" in Agost (Alicante) in
December, almost one hundred and fifty celebrations of "Moors and Christians"
take place over the length and breadth of the country. The majority are found
in Alicante where the festivities become livelier and more numerous as the days
pass. As early as the 17th century, groups of Moors and Christians drove through
the town accompanied by noisy bands, after which a "battle" ensues,
ending with the triumph of the followers of the Cross, who surround the Moors
and defeat them. Everything goes on amidst the noise of fireworks and the ringing
de los Patios Cordobeses/The Cordoba Patio Festival. |
May. Cordoba, Andalucia.
This centuries-old festival includes the pilgrimage of the conquering Virgin
of the Linares Sanctuary across the countryside with horsemen and richly decorated
coaches, a competition of Mary Crosses and a Patio, Iron Grille and Balcony Contest
in which the patios, small side street and plazas so typical of the city are filled
29. Toledo, Castilla y La Mancha.
The nun Juliana of Liege used to have a
strange vision every time she began to pray, in which a full moon appeared with
its center darkened by shadow. Finally, Jesus himself told her of the significance
of the vision: the bright circle signified all liturgical celebrations and these
were only darkened by the absence of a feast day dedicated to the exaltation of
the actual presence of Christ in the Eucharist (which was debated at the time).
Official recognition of the feast day was given in 1246. The new feast day arrived
in Spain sometime during the 14th century. In the procession, the main feature
is the Host, housed in magnificent masterpieces of silverwork.
|Hogueras de San
June 20 to June 29. Alicante, Valencia.
A series of ancient
rituals which were followed on this, the shortest night of the year, when light
triumphs over darkness, have been studied in minute detail in the work of Baroja.
In these rituals, the essential features are the sun, fire and water. Around the
feast of San Juan the streets are often decorated with branches and leaves, especially
the balconies of young girls in love, who are serenaded; pines and poplars are
planted; pilgrimages ('romerias') are undertaken; straw effiges are burnt; the
herb thyme is blessed; and 'sanjuanera' songs are sung.
|Fiestas de Haro|
Summer. Haro, La Rioja.
Festivities are strung out through the summer, but
the most famous Festival in the city is celebrated on the 29th June - the day
of San Pedro. During this Festival the famous "Wine Battle" takes place
in the Riscos de Bilibio.
de Santiago |
July 25. Santiago de Compostela, Galicia.
of the patron Saint of Spain. Fireworks, parades, televised mass. National holiday.
August 3. Pontevedra, Galicia.
An splendid simulation of
the Viking invasion of the "Torres de Oeste," which are defended by
the Christian natives. After the 'battle'" everybody drinks red wine from
the Ulla River and eats seafood, all for free. The feast is followed by folkloric
dancing, in which everyone participates.
August. Felanitx, Balearic Islands.
Felanitx celebrates its
local fiesta on August 28th, Saint Augustine's day. To tell the truth, it's a
bit of an exotic patron saint, given that most Majorcan towns and villages celebrate
Saint John, Saint Anthony, Saint Joseph or Saint Sebastian. The Town Hall organizes
a whole week of activities: sports, theatre, a children's festival, etc., including
four or five outdoors music and dance night festivals, called "verbenes."
August. Malaga, Andalucia.
This festival usually starts
the second Friday of August with spectacular fireworks. Then, the feria takes
place in the centre of Malaga during the afternoon. People wear traditional Spanish
costumes and dance "sevillanas" and "malaguenas" in the street;
eat fish, cheese and ham and drink a delicious, sweet, red wine. The fair takes
place during bullfighting season, so one can see a magnificent contest in the
Patronales de La Virgen de Gracia |
September. Albacete, Castilla y La
With more than 400 years of tradition behind them, the Fiestas of
Caudete are celebrated every year to honour its Virgin, La Virgen de Gracia. The
main components are the fireworks, gunpowder, music, procession, and flower offering
to the Virgin.
de la Vendimia Riojana/ La Rioja Wine Festival |
September (around the
21st, the Day of San Mateo). Logrono, La Rioja.
Harvesting festivities of
one of the most renown wine regions in Spain. The Rioja is the center of a very
important wine culture.
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