18 jun 2014

Spanish Festivals: Tradition and Leisure

Spanish Festivals
Discover Spain's biggest festivals!
Some of the world's craziest festivals take place throughout the year in Spain with people gathering from far and wide to celebrate the well known and popular range of festivals. Religious celebrations entailing more atmoshpheric, solemn processions contrast with giant tomato fights, ritual sculpture burning and bullfighting to solidify Spain's reputation as having one of the most varied and exciting collections of festivals you will ever experience.

San Fermín 

The festival of San Fermín or Sanfermínes is a celebration in honor of San Fermín (the co-patron  saint of Navarra) which takes place every summer from 6th to 14th July in the Spanish city of Pamplona. One of the most popular activities in the San Fermín festival is the world famous bull run - an  849 meter sprint through the heart of Pamplona to the bullring -  which attracts hundreds of brave competitors each year with the aim of completing the course whilst avoiding the stampede of bulls that charges down behind them.
San Fermin
San Fermín - The Spanish
bull festival

By definition, San Fermín stands for street party. So the”pamploneses” (inhabitants of Pamplona) spend the week in Pamplona’s streets enjoying sangria, sun and music. The big week in Pamplona begins with the release of the "chupinazo" (a rocket) from the balcony of the Town Hall on the 6th of July at 12pm. This iconic moment sparks the beginning of the traditional street party. Entertainment, dancing, parades and bulls form a massive part of this unforgettable week.

Las Fallas

Las Fallas
Las Fallas - The burning of the floats
19th March
If you have to choose just one week to visit Valencia, it should definitely be during the week of Las Fallas.
This international festival is celebrated in Valencia between the 15th and the 19th of March during which time the city is filled with gigantic handmade cardboard scultpures called "ninots" which are exhibited in the streets all around the city. These "ninots" normally have topical, humorous, or political themes and the vast amount of work that goes into making them is clear for all to see. You'll have to be quick if you want to take a picture of the handmade artwork however, because towards the end of the celebrations all of the floats (except one that is chosen by the citizens to feature in the Fallas museum) are burned down in front of the
gathering crowds. The sight of these imaginitive masterpieces going up in flames and burning to the ground is one to behold!

The burning of the floats is accompanied by the equally mesmorising "mascletá" an unmissable fireworks show that takes place every day at 2 pm in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Don't forget to bring your earplugs!

San Isidro

San Isidro
San Isidro Festival - Madrid
From the 14th to the 18th of May, the Spanish Capital is filled with music, theater, circus acts, dancing, festivals and offerings to honor their patron saint: San Isidro!
As is tradition, a parade of "cabezudos" and "gigantes" (people on stilts with giant, artistically decorated headwear) lead the celebrations as they tour around the centre of Madrid.

La Feria de San Isidro is also one of the biggest and best exhibitions of bullfighting in the whole of Spain attracting the best bullfighters in the country each year. Every day there are bullfghts, concerts and lots of partying!
Some examples?
The San Isidro concerts that take place in the gardens of Vistillas, the fireworks and music at the Retiro park or a relaxing afternoon picnic in the Pradera de San Isidro.
Activities and entertainment for everyone - what more could you want?

The April Fair

The Seville Fair
The Seville Fair
an explosion of colours and happiness
The April Fair in Seville is as popular internationally as it is among the locals. Flamenco music, gypsy costumes and joyous celebration are some of the characteristics that attract masses of people each year from all over Spain and beyond.
For a week, over a thousand traditionally decorated marquees are set up in the street where the local Sevillians eat, drink, dance and bask in the festival spirit. For many of the locals, these become their second home for the duration of the festival where the warm and festive atmosphere fuels celebrations until the early hours of the morning. The Sevillian locals are renowned for their openness - they dance in the street and wholeheartedly welcome anyone who is willing to join in the celebrations.

Throughout the Fair the locals wear Andalusian dress: the women wear flamenco or gypsy dresses and the men wear the traditional Andalusian jacket and trousers. Don’t miss out on this exciting flamenco celebration!

La Tomatina

La Tomatina
La Tomatina de Buñol:
the tomato fight
On the last Wednesday of August every year, the town of Buñol celebrates the "Tomatina". This unique
festival unites thousands of like-minded fun seeking party go-ers each year to drink, dance, have a laugh and most importantly take part in a massive tomato fight. All through the town truck-loads of tomatoes are poured out into the streets as participants of all ages proceed to launch "tomatazos" at anyone that crosses their path.

Be prepared for one of the craziest (and messiest) parties that you will ever experience!

Are you seeking relief from the stresses and pressures that have built up throughout the year?
Then come to Spain, where you will enjoy the best parties, the kindest of people and an entirely unique atmosphere that cannot be found elsewhere! What are you waiting for? ...

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