Festivals and Carnivals are common around the world – whether they be some of the more popular festivals, or some of the more unusual and unheard of festivals.
It is said that the Spanish love their festivals and enjoy partying, and on that note, they certainly know how to put on a good display when it comes to celebrations.
In almost every town, village and city, you will hear or see Spanish festivals taking place during the year. With even just a simple bit of research, one can discover that some of the most intriguing festivals and fiestas in Spain have deep religious and historical meaning to the locals although some consider it to be just fun.
Here is a list of the top five festivals in Spain that are the biggest and have the most successful turnouts, as well as a list of five festivals that you probably haven’t heard of, and might seem a little more unusual than the types of events that go on in your hometown!
1. Las Fallas
Las Fallas, held each year in March in Valencia, and is a four-day festival full of performances, bonfires, and fireworks. The city is transformed, as papier-mâché figures are placed all over the streets and buildings. This is Valencia’s largest festival of the year.
2. Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
This carnival, which is held in Tenerife in February, is one of the most lively and vibrant festivals in all of Spain. There are parades, floats, bands, and costumes. Many people spend months preparing their costumes for this one special event! This festival is said to resemble those held in Brazil, with the spectacular parades and colourful clothing.
3. Semana Santa
Semana Santa is a religious festival, and is often referred to as Spain’s “Holy Week.” The festival is held on the week that leads up to Easter Sunday, and is the celebration of Catholics who mourn the last days of Christ on the Earth. There are parades and floats, and on the night of Good Friday, the floats are carried off to the cathedral.
4. Sonar Music Festival of Barcelona
The Sonar Music Festival of Barcelona is held each year, and thousands of music lovers all over Spain and Europe come out to join in the ‘fun’. Many bands and musical acts take centre stage, and there are celebrations all around the music festival, too – parades and celebrations welcoming the tens of thousands of people who show up annually.
5. San Fermin
Taking place from early to mid July each year, the San Fermin festival is a festival that brings parties to the streets of Spain. There is loud music, dancing, and the well-known “Running of the Bulls.” This is one of the most popular festivals in Spain – after all seeing someone being chased through the streets by an angry bull would grab anyone’s attention!
6. Els Enfarinats
An April Fool’s festival held in Iba, Spain, in which the residents spend time together throwing flour and eggs at each other. Some consider it a novel way to celebrate April Fools – being covered in flour and eggs and and targeting your friends and neighbours.
7. La Tomatina
One of the most bizarre and intriguing festivals in Spain is La Tomatina, which is held at the end of August in the city of Valencia, is a festival that happens once a year, but is considered to be a great way to spend ones time – you and your fellow festival-goers are essentially gathering together to throw tomatoes at each other! That is a lot of food!
8. Granada’s Ham and Water Festival
Granada’s Ham and Water Festival is a celebration that doesn’t get as much recognition as the previous ones on this list, but is still an interesting one to take a look at. Tourists and citizens of Granada gather to spend time with their fellow celebrators and eat some of the best ham in Spain – as well as celebrate Saint John the Baptist’s Day. At midnight, purified water will soak everyone who crosses the path – from water guns, hoses, and pipes!
9. Wine Battle of Haro
Spain is known for the amazing wine that is made there – and some feel that there is no better way to celebrate that delicious wine than to have a festival for it. The festival takes place in Haro, which is located in the La Rioja part of Spain – a section of Spain known for its amazing wine. During the festival, there is music, dancing, food, wine – and of course the customary wine fight, where celebrators…yes you guessed it…. throw wine at each other!
10. El Colacho
Perhaps one of the most unusual festivals in Spain, and dates back to the 1620’s, is the El Colacho festival. In the town of Castrillo de Murcia, men dress in costumes (often as devils), and leap over newborn babies – in an attempt to wash away any sin from them.
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