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A place full of traditions, festivals and culture, Spain is famous for all the vibrant festivities celebrated throughout the country. The rich cultural diversity is reflected in all the popular festivals that take place throughout the year in various parts of Spain.
Numerous festivals that attract locals and tourists alike, from religious celebrations to folkloric events, Spain offers a unique experience in every corner. That's why in this article you will find the most popular and emblematic festivals in Spain. Let yourself go and visit these cities during their most famous celebrations to live your Spanish language immersion experience to the fullest.
If you prefer to read this article in Spanish, you can click here.
Starting in the south of the country, Cadiz is home to the famous Carnivals, which have been declared of International Tourist Interest. The carnivals are known for their satire, wit, and critical spirit with many aspects of Spanish society and politics.
The carnivals are celebrated in February and its streets are filled with music, costumes, and guaranteed fun. In addition, the city becomes a giant stage where groups of chirigotas, comparsas and coros participate in contests to present witty and satirical lyrics that address social, political, and cultural issues.
The chirigotas, characterized by their humorous lyrics, the comparsas, with their elaborate choreography and costumes, and the coros, which perform choral songs, are some of the artistic manifestations that make Cadiz the carnival capital. The Cadiz Carnival is a unique experience that combines social criticism with fun and creativity, attracting people of all ages and from all corners of the world.
Continuing with one of Spain's best-known festivals beyond its borders: Las Fallas in Valencia. Celebrated in the city of Valencia during March, Las Fallas are known for their huge papier-mâché and wooden sculptures called “ninots”.
During the five-day festival, the city of Valencia is filled with colorful parades, music, and fireworks. The culmination of the Fallas is the “cremà”, where the sculptures are burned in a spectacular display of flames. Although only one of all the “ninots” manages to be saved from the flames, by popular vote, and goes on display in the Museo Local de Fallas (local museum) with the “pardoned ninots” from previous years. If you like fireworks and gunpowder, these are your parties.
Throughout Spain, Semana Santa is celebrated with great solemnity and devotion. It is a national holiday that is celebrated throughout the country. Although the cities of Seville, Malaga and Valladolid are best-known for their impressive processions commemorating the Passion of Christ.
The streets are filled with spectators watching the religious processions and participating in the centuries-old traditions. Depending on which city you are in, you can experience Semana Santa in one way or another.
Another traditional festival that takes place in the south is La Feria de Abril. Seville takes on another meaning during the month of April with this fair. A celebration that combines the traditional and the festive during a week full of lights, color, and good music.
Sevillians, and those who come from abroad, dress in flamenco costumes, dance sevillanas and enjoy booths decorated with colorful lights and music. The fair is a showcase of Andalusian culture, with horses, flamenco music and local gastronomy. An experience not to be missed during your Spanish course in Spain.
Sant Jordi is a very special holiday in Catalonia that is celebrated on April 23rd. Especially in this Autonomous Community, it is tradition to give a rose and a book to your loved ones.
The streets are filled with stalls of books and roses, creating a romantic and cultural atmosphere. It is a festive day to celebrate a mix of love and literature for your loved ones. Thus, if you love literature and want to spend a special day surrounded by books, this holiday is for you.
In the capital, May 15 is the feast of San Isidro, the patron saint of Madrid. The city is filled with cultural events, concerts, and donuts. In addition, the Madrilenians dress up in the traditional costumes of "chulapos" and "chulapas" to dance the “chotis”, a traditional dance.
The San Isidro meadow becomes the epicenter of the celebrations with music, dances, and activities for all ages. During several weekends you can enjoy music, celebrations and live the purest party style in Madrid.
The arrival of the summer solstice is celebrated throughout Spain with the Noche de San Juan on June 23. Especially in areas with a beach, people gather around a bonfire to welcome the summer.
It is tradition to jump over the flames, get your feet wet in the sea and enjoy the company of friends and family. In addition, you can write a wish or resolution on a piece of paper, burn it in the bonfire and jump over it to make it come true. Cultural traditions that have remained for years in the country.
In the wine region of La Rioja, La Batalla del Vino (wine battle) is a unique experience. Held on June 29, participants drench each other with red wine.
This festivity takes place at the top of the mountain of La Rasa, where fun and wine are combined for an unforgettable celebration.
Immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his work "Fiesta", the San Fermin Day attracts brave runners and many spectators. The Sanfermines begin with the “chupinazo” and are always held on July 6, one of the most famous fiestas in Spain and abroad.
During nine days, the streets of Pamplona are filled with running of the bulls through the narrow streets of the city. Enjoy days of music, dances, and activities for all ages.
What happens when you mix a small town with tons of ripe tomatoes? The result is the increasingly known Tomatina in Buñol. This festival takes place in August and the streets of Buñol become a real battle of food, more specifically, of tomatoes.
A big and well-known battle all over the world, where participants throw tomatoes at each other. This friendly 'war' turns the streets into a red and juicy ocean for a whole hour.
These are just the 10 famous festivals in Spain, but there are celebrations all over the country that take place throughout the year. Thus, you can also find La Feria de Málaga, la Fiesta de moros y cristianos (the Moors and Christians Festival), Carnavales de Tenerife (Tenerife Carnivals) or el Día de Todos los Santos (All Saints' Day). The streets are filled with music, dance, and events throughout the year in different cities and towns.
Therefore, the festivities in Spain are an explosion of color, music, tradition, and passion. All celebrations reflect the cultural diversity and joie de vivre that defines Spanish culture. Don't miss any of these celebrations during your stay in the country because learning Spanish in Spain can be a challenge, but if you surround yourself with people, traditions, and cultural events, you will experience a true immersion in the language.