Updated: Jun 5
Spain is a vibrant country full of culture and tradition. Every year the people of Spain celebrate their culture through a series of festivals. These festivals bring thousands of locals and visitors together to party, eat and drink. While there are numerous celebrations each year, here are some of the top festivals that should not be missed.
15–19 March: Las Fallas Festival, Valencia
In the city of Valencia, the month of March is looked forward to every year. The Las Fallas Festival is filled with creativity, pyrotechnics, and fun. Locals prepare all year, creating large sculptures that fill the streets, turning roads into museums. Fireworks and sparklers light up the night sky and surround people with smoke. At the end of the night, the sculptures and decorations are all burned in large bonfires.
Early April: Holy Week (Semana Santa), Seville
The Spanish Holy Week, Semana Santa, is largely celebrated around Spain. Each city and town has their own traditions, but the largest spectacle is in Seville. It is here that you will find ornately decorated floats and statues all week long. From Thursday to Easter Sunday all roads are blocked off so the processions can go on during the afternoons. While this festival may be crowded, you will not regret your experience in Seville.
Mid-May: Fiesta de San Isidro, Madrid
The Spanish capitol of Madrid’s largest festival is Fiesta de San Isidro. During the month of May the streets are filled with dancing, parting, and parades. There are over 200 concerts during the four day long event. Other activities include poetry readings, sporting events, and folklore telling.
23 June: Night of San Juan
Each year the Summer Equinox is celebrated throughout Spain. However this festival is different from the others; there are no parades or costumes, but rather bonfires and beaches. It is this celebration where people flood the beaches for a night full of food, fire and drinking. Once the bonfires are built, people jump over the flames in order to cleanse the body and soul. At midnight, everyone gets in the water to wash away evil spirits and give luck for the year to come. The celebration last until sunrise and is not to be missed. This festival is particularly lively in Barcelona!
6–14 July: Running of the Bulls (Fiesta de San Fermín), Pamplona
Widely known around the world, the Running of the Bulls is probably the most famous event in Spain. Each year bulls are released into the streets of Pamplona. Locals and tourists gather together to watch the spectacle, some even running along side the bulls. At night, the streets are then used for parties, eating, and drinking. This festival, while meant for thrill-seekers, is something everyone should see.
30 August: La Tomatina, Buñol
The origin of this festival is still unknown, but that does not stop thousands of people celebrating La Tomatina every year. This festival is basically a massive food fight that takes place in the streets of Buñol, Spain. Ripe tomatoes are thrown for many hours during the day, covering the streets and the people in red. The tomato fight has been around since 1944, growing in size each year. The tomatoes are said to have a purifying effect on the people who participate and thought to have a positive effect on the skin.
These are just a few of the countries most celebrated festivals, however there are much more. If you are planning a trip to Spain, make sure to check if there are any festivals during your stay. You won’t regret being apart of some of Spain’s greatest traditions.