Events and Festivals

Spain has many festivals which are celebrated all year round, so expats will have plenty to see in and around the country.

Expats will find that some of the festivals are particularly for certain regions with all of them having their own speciality. Some of the festivals that take place in the country are listed below.

Annual Events and Festivals

Three Kings Day: This is celebrated early January with big processions happening with people giving gifts. Children are gifted presents the night before by Three Kings who visit the homes in the night (This is similar to Christmas).

Jarramplas,Caceres: Celebrated between the 19th-20th January and involves throwing hard turnip in attempt to drive away evil spirits. This is celebrated each year with over 1,5000 people arriving.

CutreCon Trash Film Festival (Madrid): A festival which attracts many visitors and is for all the bad movies, bad acting and tragic directing. Similar festivals are held across Europe

The Arizkun Carnival (Jumping the Bonfire): A festival where thousands of people jump over 20 bonfires which is said to encourage fertility and ward off evil spirits. This is a traditional festival which dates back to the Pagan times and locals generally dress up in sheepskin coats, maypole style hats carrying brushes.

Las Fallas Festival: Mainly celebrated in Valencia in March which showcases giant sculptures made into traditional figures. The display is shown all over the city before the sculptures are then burned on the bonfires.

Holy Week – Seville – Semana Santa is held in 9-16 April and is one of the most important festivals for Spanish citizens in the calendar. Easter festivities are big throughout the country but the biggest is in Seville. You will see processions of floats bearing jewelled statues of Jesus and Mary. This festival begins on Palm Sunday which is a week before Easter and is packed with many visitors

Fiesta De San Isidro: Held in mid-may and is the largest festival which is held in Madrid. It gives residents to wear traditional castizo finery, listen to music and dance. It starts off by a big procession of giants and cabezudos with a speech in the Plaza Mayor. Over the few days expats can experience great entertainment

Moors and Christians Festivals: This is a celebration of the victory over the Moors in the 13th century and dates back to the 16th century. There is lots of entertainment with street parades of soldiers and battle re-enactments.

Haro Wine Festival: Between the 28th-30th June Spain holds celebrations to mark the harvesting of wine. A huge street party is held and locals climb up a mountain and drench other individuals with rioja using buckets, water pistols and sprays. The battle then generally moves down to the bottom of the mountain where there is dancing and vino tinto.

International Festival of Music and Dance: This is a celebration of flamenco and classical music which traces back to the 1980s. It has guitars, castanets and flamenco dancers and is usually held in June/July

El Colacho (Baby Jumping Festival) – A unique festival where people dress up in costumes and queue up to jump over a mattress laden with babies who have been born during the last 12 months. It is said that this ceremony gets rid of the evil spirits and guards against illnesses.

Running of the Bulls: Another famous festival which is held in Spain and hundreds of people take the life in their hands by running narrow cobbled streets of Pamplona whilst being chased by bulls. Hundreds of visitors wear white shirts and red bandanas to take part in this event. In between the festival you will see marching bands, food and drink and also fireworks. Luckily the runners will have newspapers to protect themselves

La Tomatina, Bunol : This is one of the world’s biggest tomato fight and is held on the last Wednesday of August. Thousands of people enjoy this festival and there are truckloads of overripe tomatoes to be thrown. People are advised to take goggles and a set of clean clothes as you will covered with tomato juice

Feast of St James: A public religious holiday in Spain which celebrates the life and work of Saint James who was the towns patron saint. There will be religious services held along with street shows and concerts

Fiesta De La Merce: A celebration held which honours Our Lady of Mercy who is the citys patron saint. Expats will be able to see free music concerts, traditional Catalan dancing,. Fireworks displays and a parade of firework brandishing devils and dragons is the grand finale.

Nadal (Christmas): In December many stall holders set up a Fira de Santa Llucia which is an open air market held in the streets around the main cathedral. People can buy decorations, trees and figurines.

Dia de Los Santos Inocentes: A festival which is equivalent to April fool’s Day

Els Enfarinats: A long day festival which holds a mix of carnivals and anarchy which dates back to 200 years. A group of men (Elfs Enfarinats) are dressed in mock military uniforms who make speeches, impose laws and have a battle with eggs, flour and firecrackers