Spring in Spain. Learn more about the Spanish celebrations during Spring: Holy Week Semana Santa, Fallas, April Fair in Seville and much more.
It may seem that the entire country of Spain erupts into fiery celebration during spring. As winter fades, Valencia’s Fallas Festival ushers in the new season, filling the city’s streets and plazas with uniquely beautiful paper mache sculptures that display funny and critical social commentary. The festival ultimately culminates in a magical finale that perfectly symbolizes winter’s end and spring’s period of renewal, which recalls the mythical phoenix rising from its ashes. On the night of March 19th, la Nit del Foc, a festive firework show lights up Valencian skies. The following night, during the Cremá event, the impressive statues are set ablaze, thus concluding this exciting spring festival.
During the last few days of this season, Alicante celebrates its spectacular Fogueres de Sant Joan Festival, Alicante’s version of the Fallas Festival, where neighbors party together in lively street fiestas known as Barracas. Purifying fires consume hogueras statues to make room for next year’s new ideas, which are already formulating in the minds of Alicantinos.
We mustn’t forget however that summer is a season that dresses nature in all its splendor, an ideal time to enjoy visiting special natural attractions such as los Jardines of Aranjuez (the Gardens of Aranjuez), close to Madrid. These garden landscapes are beautiful all year round and especially gorgeous in spring. The gardens have been deservedly referred to as the Spanish Veralles. Heading south, you can visit the Valley of Jerte, in Extremadura, where cherries of the highest quality are grown. Toward the end of March and the beginning of April, the cherry trees bloom, turning the region into a spring wonderland blanketed by the white flowers of the trees, resembling gorgeous snow-covered landscapes.
Semana Santa (holy week) is another spring-time period of great cultural importance all over Spain, where representations of victory over death offer acts of faith for many and spectacles of beauty for others. From the serious tone of processions in Castile’s Zamora or Leon, to the baroque splendor of parades in Seville, Cordoba and Granada, these commemorations of a terrible story with a joyful ending are fundamental elements of Spanish culture. In Murcia, the procession that displays the religious statues created by Francisco Salzillo (the Michael Angelo of religious imagery) converts the city’s streets into an enormous museum in motion.
In Seville, the Feria de Abril offers all the joy that characterizes Andalusia, the elegance of the Andalusia women, the beauty of the horses and the rhythm of the sevillanas during this festive time, when the entire city participates in celebrations. By visiting the fair, you’ll understand the meaning of the worlds rebujito, calle del Infierno and caseta.
Later put your boots on and walk torwards Almonte, in Huelva, until you get to Rocío. With over a million participants from all over Spain, the village is home to one of the biggest religious pilgrimages and celebrations in Spain that revolves around the VirgendelRocío in a display of faith and joy.
What about the Cordoba Patio Festival in which the Cordobeses open their charmingly decorated floral patios to the world in a competition to have theirs selected as the most beautiful?
In Alicante, more specifically in Petrer, they celebrate the Moors and Christian festival which reenacts the historic battles between both sides. The battle receives a lot of international attention and attracts uncountable amounts of people to its parades and performances; a homage to the people’s pride in their historic roots and traditions.
Throughout Spain, Corpus Christi is one of the most important religious celebrations. However, three cities stand out in particular: Toledo, elegant, serious and somber Castilian spirituality that fills the streets; Granada, a city that greets this religious celebration by exploding with joy and fun; and La Orotava, in Tenerife, where the Canary Islanders craft elaborate rugs with flowers or multicolored sand from the Teide Volcano. The rugs are displayed to pay homage to the Holy Sacrament as it is offered through the streets in one of the most beautiful cities of the Canary Islands.
Just like that, with the fire of the Valencia fallas festival announcing its arrival and the bonfires fiesta in Alicante bidding it farewell, the spring leaves Spain with a slew of opportunities that cannot be overlooked.