Whatever time of year that you’re in Spain, you’re bound to catch some fiesta or festival in some part of the country! Apart from the plethora of religious festivals all over Spain during Christmas, Easter and fiestas connected with the various shrines and carnivals, there are ethnic and cultural celebrations which have come down the centuries and add flavor and color to the life of the people. As for me, I could not resist writing on this guide an article.
Some of the important and interesting festivals are:
Carnival of Cadiz
Carnival of Cadiz is one of the most important events in Cadiz held in February and March. It lasts over a period of more than two or three weeks, with months of preparation ahead all the year round. Residents of Cadiz spend a lot of time in rehearsals of concerts, plays, mimes, recitals and poetry sessions and they’re reputed to be the most humor-loving people in Spain, so there’s lots of word-play, punning, jokes and humor. There are lots of pantomimes, choir contests, folk-dancing and satirical skits.
Image by CARLOS CALAMAR via Flickr
Rapa das Bestas
This festival is held in Pontevedra in Galicia and is very exciting to watch. Young and old men go out into the mountains and capture herds of wild horses, bring them into the village and drive them into an arena. The challenge is to trim the manes of these creatures who are completely untamed, clean and groom them and then mark each one. The competitions go on the whole day and then the animals are returned to the forests. The event is quite humane and no violence is practiced on the horses.
Image by Inmobiliaria Lares via Flickr
Fire-Walking at San Pedro Manrique
Held annually on June 23, this festival combines religious fervor, history and tradition. The fire-walking ritual takes place at midnight, and the fires are lit by late evening, when thousands of oak-logs are burned down to coals. A dozen young men who have been specially chosen for that year walk on the burning coals carrying someone on their shoulders. Women dressed in white, carrying baskets of bread walk in a procession to the church and the festivities continue throughout the next day. Read this if you want to know more about my adventure.
Celebrated during the second week of March in Valencia, this festival is one of the most interesting and bizarre events in Spain. Massive paper puppets and dolls, usually representing some famous person who’s currently in the news are created and then in a massive display of fireworks they are burned down in huge bonfires across the city. Historical traditions of carpenters burning their old stock are related to this festival which is in honor of St Joseph, their patron saint.
Image by keith ellwood via Flickr
Apart from these, there are thousands of other wonderful celebrations throughout the country, so make sure to attend a few of them when you travel to Spain!
Hi, I’m Alice Foster, a business-trainer and a writer. I’d organized more than 50 events on the business topic in Colorado, and my hobby is writing about my coaching experience. Examples of my work you can find on my blog on New York Essays. My credo: a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.