Spain is known for many of its cultural and historical factors, but also for the great variety of celebrations and traditions that it hosts.
As a student, you will have the possibility of experiencing many of them. Mentioning all of these traditions is practically impossible as each city, village, and neighbourhood has its own events. However, the following celebrations are the most famous.
SAIN FERMÍN PAMPLONA JULY
Probably the most well known celebration at a international level thanks to the publication of “The Sun Also Rises” written by Ernest Hemingway.
Each 7th July in Pamplona, there is a festival celebrated in honour of the patron saint of Navarra that lasts for one week. What began as a trade fair, is today a festive event recognized worldwide. During this event, the city is overtaken to celebrate its most important week, so there are parties on all of its the streets in addition to the infamous running of the bulls. During this week, the city increases its population from 200,000 inhabitants to more than 1 million!
THE TOMATINA BUÑOL AUGUST
In the Valencian village of Buñol, on the last Wednesday of each August, thousands of people come to create a tomato battle in which tons of tomatoes are launched, making it one of the most fun battles in the world.
SEVILLE'S APRIL FAIR SEVILLE APRIL
Seville’s April Fair is celebrated the third week after Holy Week. What was originally a trade fair of livestock, is today a festive event that lasts for an entire week. The city is filled with horse-drawn carriages . Women and men dress in traditionally flamenco attire. It takes place on the fair grounds, in the neighbourhood of “Los Remedios.” During this festival, an entirely new city is created, with more than 30 streets of “casetas”, that are big tents where people gather to eat, have a few drinks, and dance. The fair grounds can house nearly one million people. At April’s Fair, you will enjoy flamenco, the exquisite local gastronomy, and the best party you’ve ever attended. Even though many “casetas” are private, there are also many with free entrance so that you will be able to enjoy everything that is necessary to have a good time at the fair.
THE FALLAS VALENCIA MARCH
The Fallas is held in Valencia in March. During more than a week the city prepares to be filled with gunpowder, “mascletás,” and castles of fires. The city is decorated with huge wooden dolls that are
CARNIVALS TENERIFE, CÁDIZ MARCH
During February, Spain dresses up for carnivals. The most famous ones are Cadiz’s Carnival and Tenerife’s Carnival. The Carnival of Cádiz takes place between January and February. Local music groups compete in a competition in the Fall theater, and afterwards, public shows and parades take place on the streets. The Carnival of Tenerife takes place on the island of Tenerife, and it is paired with the Cadiz’s Carnival. It is the second most important carnival on a world-wide level, surpassed only by that of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
SAIN MIGUEL LLEIDA SEPTEMBER
This celebration is a particularly important event within Spain’s plethora of national celebrations. It is held every year in the “Campos Elíseos” Park at the same time that the “Greatest Autumn Festival.” Like in all of Catalonia, the “castellers” are a huge part of the celebration, building human castles several metres tall.
THE DESCENT OF THE SELLA ASTURIAS AUGUST
In the North of Spain we also find a multitude of festivities, one of which takes place on the Sella River in Asturias. At the beginning of August, a sporting challenge is hosted along the river, and during the same time, a “Canoe Festival” is celebrated on a Friday night in Les Arriondes and on a Saturday night in Ribadesella. These two cities become filled with campers and visitors from all over Spain as well as overseas, creating a unique, international atmosphere.
Spain is very diverse when it comes to its culture and its way of expressing it, so whatever and wherever you study, there will always be some cultural event or important celebration. You will be able to get to these places easily as it is a well-connected country with affordable tickets by bus, train, and airplane.