Must-See Festivals in Spain

by jduardo

Spain’s numerous festivals and carnivals reflect the nation’s cheerful nature, but also their fervent Catholicism. Many of the annual festivities that take place in Spain’s towns and cities have a religious theme, like the celebration of a patron saint or a major Christian holiday. Many of them, however, are a mix of secular and pagan traditions with Christian practices, and represent a great occasion to witness unique rituals, eat specific food and also have loads of fun. My list of must-see festivals in Spain comprises manifestations from all regions of the country, mainly selected for their popularity and spectacularity:

Feria de Abril, Sevilla

by abenjumeda

The month of April is the best time to visit this lovely Spanish city.  The weather is already warm in April and the city boast with color and attractions. The centerpiece of the fiesta is represented by the beautifully decorated tents (casetas) as well as the horse and carriage parades.  The rest of the day is dedicated to admiring people in flamenco costumes, listening to traditional music, eating Sevillan delicacies and partying with your friends.

The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands

If you happen to be in Spain in late February of early March (around Mardi Gras), take a couple of days to attend this huge street party in the capital of Tenerife. It’s probably the second biggest carnival in Europe after the one in Venice, but far more spectacular in its display of costumes and dances. The festival lasts for a whole week, each day being reserved specific events, like the burial for the sardine, the grate parade of the election of the carnival’s queen.

Fiesta de Moros e Cristianos, Alicante

Symbolizing the fights between Spaniards and Moors for the southern territories of Spain, this yearly celebration takes place in many of the country’s villages and towns. It’s a feast of heroism and reconciliation, with people dressed in warrior costumes and spectacular reenactments. The fiesta in Alicante is one of the best known, where duels are accompanied by loud music and colorful fireworks.

Las Fallas, Valencia

by calderilla

It is customary for European people to celebrate the arrival of spring with huge fires and dances. This is also the way of Valencia natives, just that this particular celebration takes epic proportions. In the honor of St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, huge papier-mâché figures are designed and then blown to pieces. It’s a real challenge for pyro-technicians, as well as your ears.

Fiesta de Verano, Malaga

The torrid summers in Malaga become event hotter during the Fiesta de Verano. This rather a folkloric feast, so there won’t be any parades or processions. There will be a lot of dancing, eating and drinking, on the other hand. It’s also a prime time for bull fight watching.


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