Spain is home to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Religious, modern, classical, bizarre – you name it and they have it! These Spanish festivals are unique in many ways. They are characterized by attractive costumes, enchanting music, parade through the streets, delicious food and wine, and often extend up to the early morning hours.
With Moorish and Islamic influence on its culture, one can witness many religious festivals. The most famous among them is the Semana Santa. It literally means Easter and is celebrated in the week leading to Easter. The Passion of Christ is depicted through carrying ornate decorated floats.
La Feria de Abril is a huge annual festival that takes place in the month of April. It starts 2 weeks after Semana Santa and extends up to 7 days. During this festival, the venue becomes a city itself with thousands of natives and tourists flocking from all parts of the world. The main themes of this festival include flamenco performance, high decibel music, partying till dawn, etc.
Spain is at its eccentric best when it comes to tomato festival. In this festival, the natives spend over a couple of hours throwing tomatoes at each other! No wonder, it is called the tomato fight festival. The fight is instigated by buckets of water directed at the young Spanish crowd. Scratch beneath the surface and you will find even bizarre festivals. One among them is the angry bull chase. It is called Pamplona. This is perhaps the most dangerous festival of Spain where people run along with bulls through narrow blocked roads.
The music and entertainment shows of Spain will make you dance non-stop. The Spanish variation of world music festival is called WOMAD. This takes place in the month of May and is a must see event for the uncompromising music lovers. Other music festivals include extremusika rock festival, primavera sound festival, etc.
The names of Alejandro Amenábar and Pedro Almodóvar are well known among those who watch films seriously and not just for entertainment. With the likes of such directors, the Spanish film industry is very strong and periodically stages film festivals. October and November are the best seasons to visit to participate in these film festivals.
Apart from these, many rural festivals also take place in the villages of Spain. They are less known, less explored but very rich in content. Gosos or goccius dates back to 17th century. In this festival, the natives sing ancient sacred songs in praise of saints in Sardinian language. These rural festivals usually start in country side and ends with representations in another village.
Spaniards are outgoing and loves festivals and partying. Most festivals and events last a week or more. No matter what time you visit – season or off season – you can participate in some kind of Spanish festivals. It is a good opportunity to relax from your stressful life and meet people from around the world and make new friends.
Hope on a flight at the earliest to get the real feel of these festivals.