Spain is a country known throughout the world for its frequent and lively festivals and celebrations, some of which are backed by years of tradition, while others have appeared in more recent dates, but still achieved rapid acceptance. If you wish to discover the most traditional celebrations in Spain, come with us as we delve into some of the most famous and interesting festivals which are sure to surprise.
Spain’s celebrations attract countless visitors, many of which arrive from beyond its borders, hence why the whole of Spain is dotted with festivities throughout the whole year; Boredom in Spain is not an option, there is so much to choose from with the thousands of celebrations which are sure to amaze – Come as we discover some of the most interesting and entertaining.
‘Los Sanfermines’ – Pamplona
From the Txupinazo to the ‘Pobre de Mi’, nine days of madness every July in Pamplona; We must associate the fame of the Sanfermines to the Illinois born writer Ernest Hemingway. It was he who spread the color and the spectacle of the traditional celebrations of the Navarrese capital, whose most famous characteristic is the running of the bull, in which men are chased by bulls – It’s safe to say that this event is one of the most traditional festivals in Spain.
‘Las Fallas’ – Valencian Bonfires
Almost as famous as the ‘Sanfermines’, are the Valencian ‘Fallas’, bonfires, which take place every 19th of March, filling the city of Turia, as well as many other Valencian localities, with color, smoke, bonfires and fun. Typical characteristics of these festivals are the deafening sound of the ‘mascletas’ – Pyrotechnics that are set off every noon in front of the Valencian townhall as well as the ‘ninots’ which are burnt on the night of the ‘cremá’.
‘Fiestas de San Joan’ – Ciudadela
The magical night of San Juan, on the 23rd of June, which coincides with the summer solstice, is celebrated in various different ways on the Spanish Mediterranean facade – However nothing can compare to Ciudadela, situated on the island of Menorca.
Crowds gather in Plaça del Born to welcome horsemen who, dressed in typical 18th century uniforms, perform tricks and pirouettes with their steeds; The day after, races and contests are held where Menorcan horses race to the ‘Pomada’, a drink made with lemonade, local gin, and plenty of ice – An old celebration which always captivates and is full of emotion.
‘La Tomatina’ – Buñol
On the last Wednesday of August, Buñol, situated in Valencia, is literally stained red when the ‘La Tomatina‘ commences – A friendly battle where tomatoes are the only throwing weapon allowed; At 11am, trucks full of thousands of red and ripe tomatoes burst into the village square to provide ammunition to the assembled crowd for this innocent but fun war – A crazy celebration which we advise you to attend in old clothes.
‘Las Hogueras de San Juan’ – Alicante
The magical night of San Juan is also celebrated with enthusiasm in Alicante; Just like in Valencia with the ‘Fallas’, the sounds of the firecrackers can be heard in all celebrations: There are ‘ninots’, pyrotechnics, parades, lots of music and lots of enthusiasm. However, the most important characteristic are the bonfires that are lit throughout the whole city illuminating the celebration – Another traditional Spanish festival that is worth discovering.
‘Moros y Cristianos’ – Alcoy
Music, traditional dresses and lots of gunpowder; Alcoy, situated in Alicante represents the struggle that took place there between Muslims and Christians in 1267.
The atmosphere is both spectacular and colorful; Troops from both armies enter the city wielding their arms and suits, each commander cheering their army before battle, which unfolds of course non-violently, with every contender coming together for a big party at the end of the battle.