11 Top Spanish Festivals you Can’t Miss!

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Spain is a fun place to live and a big part of that comes from it’s amazing Spanish festivals that take place throughout the year. Most of these events come from religious holidays but dont be fooled, that doesnt stop the party! Make room in your calendar for these crazy, fun, and unique festivals around Spain to make your trip even more memorable!

In this article we will cover some of the top festivals in Spain, each one offering something unique for its visitors! If you’re interested in seeing some of these locations outside of the festival season, make sure to check out our various travel guides and bucket lists

January – Tamborrada in San Sebastían

This very loud Spanish festival is a wonder in the northern Basque region. People fill the streets from far and wide as they drink, dance and watch performances by many of the drumming bands from Spain. From sunrise to sunset you will hear the loud booming of the drums as bands represent their regions and their gastronomy in a friendly competition.

February – Las Fallas in Valencia

Some call Fallas the largest celebration in the world, with parades, mass gatherings, fireworks ceremonial burnings of breathtaking scultures and large amounts of drinking and dancing in the streets. If you can only visit 1 major fiesta while in Spain, Fallas is tied with Carnival as the one to experience.

Traditionally Carnival marks the start of Lent, but as time has gone on it has become one of the largest and craziest parties of the year. Modelled after the celebrations in Rio de Janeiro the city and the people are dressed in colours, feathers, sparkles, venetian masks and head dresses as they dance at street parties, and circus themed events.

40 Days Before Easter – Carnival Around Spain

Traditionally Carnival marks the start of Lent, but as time has gone on it has become one of the largest and most colourful parties of the year! Though it’s been modelled after the celebrations in Venice and Rio de Janeiro, Carnival in Spain has taken a life of it’s own. Whatever city you decide to celebrate in, you will see people dressed in colourful costumes, feathers, sparkles, venetian masks and head dresses as they dance at street parties, and circus themed events.

April – Feria de Abril in Sevilla

This Spanish festival is as traditional as it gets! As spring begins to emerge in the south of Spain, the people of Sevilla begin preparing for the famous Feria de Abril. The city centre dresses up to entertain some of the most traditional Spanish activities – flamenco, salsa, food, wine and merrymaking! Over 1 million people travel from far and wide to attend the feria, and maybe you will be among them next year!

June – Haro Wine Festival

At the begging of every summer, the little town of Haro gets ready for one of the most unique festivals in the country. Similar to Buñol’s Tomatina, Haro is a day dedicated to one massive wine fight! What could be better than spending a day in the countryside of Rioja, drinking (and throwing) the best Rioja wine with hundreds of people?

July – Madrid Orgullo (Gay Pride)

Although there are Pride festivals around the world, Madrid has become quite famous for its celebrations and is now considered the largest in Europe. Ever since it was chosen to host the Wold Pride festival in 2017, it has been known to bring in nearly 2 million people to the city for the celebrations. During the festival the entire city fills up with colours, people and music who are all there to celebrate world equality.

July: San Fermín & The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona

Probably the most well known Spanish festivals, The Running of the Bulls is a token of Spanish culture. The festival commemorates the be-heading of the Saint Fermin who died a Martyr. Famously, at 8:00 am a people risk their lives to run the streets with 7 large bulls with the goal of touching as many as possible, while the days close with bull fights.

 August – La Tomatina in Buñol

Unlike most Spanish festivals, Tomatina has no religious background, instead it celebrates the first major Tomato fight in the small town of Buñol. People from all over the world travel to throw tomatoes at each other and have their clothes stained in the juice for memories.

September – La Mercè in Barcelona

La Mercè is the largest festival in all of Catalonia! It’s held in Barcelona and involves some of the most traditional Catalan fiesta’s in the region. From famous Catalonian castling, massive live concerts, fireworks in Plaza España, community feasts, and fire runs!

October – Fiestas del Pilar in Zaragoza

Another celebration for a Parton Saint of it’s city, Pilar is very similar to a fair with a large food venue, carnival performances, concerts and games. The religious ceremonies of the festival include offerings of flowers and fruits to the main pyramid shaped alter for the Saint.

December – Nochevieja Universitaria in Salamanca

A creative invention by the University in Salamanca, “Student New Years Eve” was created for the students of Salamanca to celebrate the turning of the year with their fellow students before heading home to see their families. It has now become a massive festival that is celebrated by everyone from locals to tourists.

Leah has been living in and exploring Madrid since 2013 when she moved to the city for a simple summer abroad. She started the Citylife Blog in 2014 with the goal to share everything there is to know about her favourite place on earth!

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