Cultural festivals in Spain including San Juan Saint John’s Day, Santa Semana Week, and the epic Las Fallas celebrations in Valencia are all great reasons to visit this vibrant nation. Experience this jubilant atmosphere with PowerPacPlus.org through the reading below:
San Juan Saint John’s Day
Held on June 23 every year, this holiday is considered one of the most important cultural festivals in Spain. On this day, people wash their feet and face three times starting from early morning until dark. The people here have followed the legend by doing it on them thinking it will have the effect of purifying skin problems. Before this date, Spaniards would not set foot on any beaches until the festival was over.
People here will light torches with high fire to honor the sun and to ward off evil spirits. However, others think this is a superstition, believing things that are not hypothetical and difficult to disprove. Several other regions such as Valencia, Tenerife and Gran Canaria jointly celebrate this great celebration.
More specifically, the locals in traditional costumes, live music performances and activities for all ages. On this day, children and adults can have fun by singing and dancing together, then they give each other food as a way of thanking each other.
Without taking part in one of Spain’s numerous cultural events, a visit is never quite complete. Spain is the host to a wide range of cultural events, such as the traditional Spanish carnival and the secular celebrations of the Semana Grande. The nation is well-known for its fireworks competitions and an enormous statue of La Marijaia, which is lit ablaze and embellished with fireworks, in addition to fairs, concerts, and theatrical productions.
A city in southern Spain hosts a variety of cultural activities. The renowned Madrid Flamenco Festival, which honors Spanish dance and classical music, is held in Spain’s capital city. This festival, which dates back to the 1880s, is known for its vivacious energy brought on by flamenco guitars, castanets, and dancers. Even though the majority of casetas are private, seven are accessible to everyone. The festival also showcases a variety of avant-garde and up-and-coming artists who include top-tier experts in their projects.
The nation’s most significant religious holiday, Semana Santa, takes place seven days before Easter Sunday. Numerous thousands of people dress to the nines and line elaborate procession routes that recreate episodes from the Passion of Christ. The participants in some of these elaborate processions don’t even wear shoes. Numerous locals and visitors assemble to observe the spectacle, and the vibrant parade is a striking sight.
St. John the Baptist Day, which begins on June 23 and is celebrated there, marks the beginning of summer in several Spanish coastal cities. Depending on the city, the festivities might involve fire, chiringuito food, and possibly a midnight swim. Any traveler is sure to enjoy Spain’s festivities, the country’s cultural festivals could be appealing to visitors regardless of the celebration’s style.
Semana Santa Holy Week
If you’re traveling in Spain, you should not miss the traditional Semana Santa celebrations. In Zamora, a city on the Costa Blanca, a traditional Semana Santa processional has been declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest since 1986. In Cartagena, a town on the Costa del Sol, the Semana Santa processions are very organized and feature certain characteristics unique to that city.
Every city in Spain has a special celebration to mark this religious holiday. Throughout the week, you can witness processions of penitent worshippers, children carrying ceramic lanterns, and even hooded sinners seeking repentance. The whole town will be out to celebrate Semana Santa. In Malaga, you can even watch processions by buying bleacher seats at the fair and enjoying torrijas, the traditional sweet treat.
In Galicia, the viveiro procession is one of the most famous religious celebrations. It was named a Fiesta of National Tourist Interest of Spain in 1988. It is known for its lifelike wooden sculptures depicting the Passion events and Virgin Mary. Some of these sculptures date back centuries and are considered artistic masterpieces. They are also culturally significant to the local Catholic population.
On the 23rd of June, Spain celebrates the arrival of summer. The city hosts several street parties with fireworks and bonfires. In addition, you can see the famous correfoc, which involves daring members of the public running through fire. The celebration ends with a rite of bathing in the sea at midnight. You can also sample the local beer Mahou to see the festival in full swing.
Las Fallas in Valencia
To make the most of Las Fallas in Valencia, you need to get to Valencia early! The festival attracts a lot of people, so be prepared for a crowded city. Getting onto the streets of Valencia early is crucial, as Spanish people don’t like to get up early. By sleeping in a bit later, you’ll be able to admire the fallas without the crowds. Visiting Valencia during Las Fallas should be on your bucket list.
During Las Fallas in Valencia, you can see the famous fireworks displays. Firecrackers are a mainstay of the celebration, and are used to create a noisy spectacle. In Valencia, they are considered a form of art, and are used to stimulate the human body. The force and rhythm of the fireworks have to gradually increase before the dramatic finale. You can also witness some amazing firecracker shows at the city’s plaza del Ayuntamiento.
To celebrate the festivities, Valencians dress up as devils and goblins, wave sparkler cannons, and dance atop fire-breathing mechanical dragons. The final ceremony is a must-see in Valencia. The Valencians torch all the fallas in the city, starting at 10pm, which allows the firefighters to distribute their ashes well. If you’re in Valencia for the fallas, be sure to visit the Fallas Museum!
One of the most exciting parts of Las Fallas in Valencia is the parade. More than 100,000 falleras don their traditional costumes and march through the city, accompanied by marching bands. At the end of the parade, they offer flowers to Our Lady of the Forsaken, the city’s patron saint. In Valencia, the flowers form a 15-metre-high tapestry on the facade of the Basilica. During the festival, falleras also decorate the statue of the Lady of the Forsaken, which is situated in the Plaza de la Virgen.
The origins of La Tomatina go all the way back to 1945, when a parade in the town square involved a huge, headless man. The irate man lashed out at everyone, causing a scene of mayhem. One of the participants was a market vendor selling tomatoes, and this incident resulted in a fight. The audience reacted by throwing tomatoes at each other, and the event soon became a riot.
While many of the top European cities host world-famous festivals and events, the festival in Alicante is worth a visit. First declared a Tourist Festival of International Interest (TICE) in 1983, it has been designated as a Bien de Interes Cultural Inmaterial. The festival is known for its colourful parades of floats and bands, as well as the burning of useless objects associated with the summer solstice. The flamboyant festival features colorful costumes, energetic musical groups, and gorgeous ladies.
The festival culminates in the legendary food fight, La Tomatina. The festival runs for a week, and it’s the best part of the celebration. This event is fun and original, but the only drawback is that tickets to attend are limited to 20,000 people. Because of this, tickets are sold out quickly. So be sure to buy your tickets in advance and avoid missing the event!
The festival is so popular that it’s become a victim of its own success. Today, upwards of 50,000 people visit the festival, which poses a serious security risk. To alleviate these concerns, the town council in Bunyol has begun issuing tickets to those who want to attend the festival. These tickets cost EUR10 each and are available on the city’s website. Alternatively, organised tours often include tickets.