Festivals & Celebrations
Fiestas, a phenomenon that gives expression to a peculiarly Spanish vitality, take place almost uninterruptedly in different places and times of the year, so that the traveler will always find an occasion to witness one of these magical, spectacular happenings that alter the daily routine of Spanish society.
JANUARY: San Sebastian (January 20)
Tambrrada de San Sebastian is a picturesque and noisy parade of drummers celebrating the new year.
FEBRUARY: (February 23) Fiestas de Carnival, The processions, contests, balls, and fireworks of Carnival attract visitors to Cadiz, Santa Cruis de Tenerife and numerous destinations throughout Spain.
MARCH: Valencia (March 15-19), Las Fallas culminates with the ceremonial burning of enormous paper-mache figures on St. Josephs Day
APRIL: Holy week events throughout Spain. In Seville more that 50 religious guilds march with holy images. Alicante: Moors and Christians festivities include a mock battle in Commemoration of the Recon quest. Seville (April 13-22)- Feria de Abril with colored tents, festive lights, merrymaking, cavalcades of riders in Andalusian hats, flamenco singers, dancers and daily bullfights.
MAY: Cordoba (May 15-30)- Festival de lo Patios includes bullfights and contest for best decorated patio or courtyard.- Madrid (May 11-June 9)- Feria de San Isidro includes bullfights at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. - Cadiz- horse fair featuring riding exhibitions, contest and livestock show.- Jerez de La Frontera ( May 5-12)- Feria del Caballo de Jerez features bullfights, plus equestrian endurance trials, coach driving, pursuit and tumble and dressage.
JUNE: Almonte: - the Rocio pilgrimage is Spain's most famous. Held annually, it features pilgrims traveling in traditional Andalusia dress who journey to the Almonte shrine in covered wagons or on horseback. - Granada ( June 22- July 8)- Festival of Music and Dance brings classical ballet and music to the Alhambra and other venues.
JULY: Pamplona (July 7-14) San Fermin Festival features the world-famous running of the bulls.
Barcelona: (June 25- August 2)- Festival de Verano- Grec 2002 offers music, dance and theater from Spain and other nations. Merida- (July 5- August 10)- Festival de Teatro Clasico de Merida, The Roman theatre and amphitheater are the site of classic stage performances.
AUGUST: Bilbao (Mid-August)- Semana Grande de Bilbao. A week long celebration of sports and culture. Burno (August 22)- La Tomatina- the annual ripe tomato food fight draws throngs of people for a tradition that originated in 1944. Alicate (Mid August)- The Mystery of Elche is a play dating to the 13th century. It is a world-renowned religious spectacle presented in the Basilica of Santa Maria.
SEPTEMBER: San Sebastian (September 21-30)- 50th festival international de cine de San Sebastian- Murcia (September 19)- The festival of Carthaginians and Romans in a historical pageant based on the second Punic war. Rioja Grape Harvest Festival- for nearly 50 years the festival has celebrated the harvest with the treading of the grapes and the blessing of the wine. Festivities include a parade, music, feasting, and bullfights.
OCTOBER:- - Madrid (September 29- October 2) Feria de Otono celebrates the fall harvest and includes bullfights at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas.
NOVEMBER:- - Moreda (November 11)- Fiesta in Honor of St. Martin
DECEMBER: Christmas Markets in small towns and villages throughout the country, festive markets are piled high with fruits, flowers, sweets, candles, decorations and hand-made Christmas Gifts
New Years Eve- celebrated nationwide but most notably beneath the clock in Madrid's Puerta del Sol.