Follow the Fiesta: A Travel Route for Spain’s Biggest Festivals

Spain is most popular for its beaches along the Mediterranean Sea, bullfights, and flamenco dancing. However, festivals are another big draw to the area. Take a look at Spain’s biggest festivals according to season and plan your vacation accordingly.

Spring Festivals

  • Holy Week: This festival includes a series of processions for Easter. It starts on Palm Sunday each year. It is big throughout Spain, but particularly important in Seville.
  • Saint Jordi Festival: This celebration is similar to Valentine’s Day. People celebrate St. George with romance.
  • Fiesta de San Isidro: This is the biggest festival in Madrid. It is full of music and dancing, including zarzuelas, flamenco, and Latin rhythms.

Summer Festivals

  • The Baby Jumping Festival: During this festival, people dress up in costumes and then leap over a mattress full of babies to rid them of evil spirits. It takes place all over Spain.
  • Running of the Bulls: This festival is one of the most famous in Spain. Hundreds of thousands of people line up in white shirts and red bandanas to run with the bulls through cobbled streets. It’s dangerous and adventurous, too.
  • La Tomatina: This is a crazy festival where participants throw overripe tomatoes at each other. It is very messy and you should bring goggles and a change of clothes.

Fall Festivals

  • Fiestas de la Mare de Deu de la Salut: This is the biggest festival in Algemesi and it dates back to the Middle Ages. There is a parade and several celebrations with dance and music.
  • Fiesta de la Merce: This festival honors the patron saint of Barcelona, Our Lady of Mercy. There are firework displays, Catalan dances, human towers, and other shows as part of the celebration.
  • San Andreas Festival: This is a New Year’s celebration where people drink wine and make a lot of noise in the streets.

Winter Festivals

  • Dia de los Santos Inocentes: This is basically April Fools’ Day. People have an excuse to be crazy and play pranks.
  • Three Kings Day: This festival takes place all over Spain, but it is the biggest in Barcelona. Children are visited by three kings at night who give them gifts. There is also a parade the night before.
  • International Animation Festival: This is a film festival open to anyone that makes animated films. It’s not competitive, just a lot of fun and a way to get exposure.
  • The Arizkun Carnival: during the entire month of February, people line up to jump over bonfires. The tradition is said to get rid of evil spirits and increase fertility. Participants wear all sorts of costumes, including sheepskin coats and maypole-style hats.

You’re sure to find several Spain hotels no matter which festival you plan to attend. Have fun on your trip!

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