High summer crowds
Hogueras de San Juan (BonFires of San Juan at Summer Solistice)
It was first held in 1928, with lots of colour, gunpowder and bonfires. Of note are the Flower Offerings to Our Lady of Remedy (22 June), the International Folklore Parade (23 June) and the mascletás or fireworks competitions (20-24 June). There are also processions with marching bands, outdoor dances and sports competitions. The feast coincides with a bullfighting festival bringing in leading matadors, on foot and on horseback.
Midsummer Day is based on the ancient custom of burning useless objects to celebrate the summer solstice, and isconnected with the feast day of St John the Baptist. The celebrations of San Juan are of pagan origin and consist to a greater degree of inherited rituals, practices and customs originating in pre-Christian celebrations.
The 'Fogueres de Sant Joan' have incorporated Valencia's tradition of the Fallas, which are called 'Hogueras' (Bonfires) here. 24 June is the climax of the fiesta, the so-called Nit del foc, or Night of the Fire, when the 'Bonfires' that were placed on the streets and in the squares during the 'Cremá' are burned. Before midnight, the Palmera, a spectacular pyrotechnics show, takes place on Mount Benacantil, launched from the summit of the Santa Barbara castle.
Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada
Madrid hosts Spain's biggest Pride celebration, ending with a carnival-style parade through the city on a Saturday, followed by a huge party. The event kicks off with an inaugural fiesta in the Chueca district of Madrid, followed by a round of discussions, debates and other events in the week which leads up to the parade and party. An awards ceremony also takes place to bestow Pink Triangles upon those who have assisted in the advancement of gay rights. Look for a thriving gay scene around the Metro Chueca. In 2005, Spain, a predominantly Catholic country, became the world's third nation to legalize same-sex marriage following The Netherlands and Belgium.
San Fermin Pamplona - Running of the bulls
Pamplona, situated in the Northern Spanish province of Navarra, attracts thousands of visitors annually from the 6th to the 14th of July. During nine days of festivities a wild, dangerous running of the bulls through the streets of the town is held.
The festival begins with the txupinazo: a rocket fired from the city council's balcony at 12PM of the 6th. A large street party ensues that night and for the rest of the week.
Visitors come to enjoy the celebrations for San Fermin, the patron saint of the city, but mostly they come to see the Running of the Bulls, or "Encierro," made world famous by avid visitor and writer Ernest Hemingway. Every day at 8AM, 7 bulls run through the town center towards the plaza de toros (bull ring); the adventurous and foolhardy run with them.
GETTING THERE: Pamplona is in Northern Spain, not far from the French Border. It is around 159 kms from Bilbao and 400 kms from Madrid and Barcelona
July 16 - Virgen del Carmen (sea virgin)
The event focuses on world music, converting the town of Cartagena into a great festive gathering for almost a month. All kinds of art forms are welcomed at this event. Some 50 groups and solo artists will perform on the different stages organised for the festival. Each year since 1995, a country's musical traditions are featured.
Throughout the different neighborhoods of Malaga, spectacular goings-on celebrate the Feast of St John or Fiesta de San Juan. The fiesta is a pagan tradition given Christian sanction, for it dates back to an ancient celebration of the Midsummer Solstice. It is a festival of bonfires and mayhem in the streets, echoed all over Spain. The climax of the festival comes at midnight on the 23rd of July, when juas, large cloth figures filled with sawdust, paper or similar materials, are set on fire.
San Ciriacois Day
Misterio de Elche/The Elche Mystery Play
Felanitx celebrates its local fiesta on August 28th, Saint Augustine's day. To tell the truth, it's a bit of an exotic patron saint, given that most Majorcan towns and villages celebrate Saint John, Saint Anthony, Saint Joseph or Saint Sebastian. The Town Hall organizes a whole week of activities: sports, theatre, a children's festival. There are also four or five outdoors music and dance night festivals, called "verbenes."
Dia de Asturias/Day of Asturias
Festivities in relation with the Autonomous community of Asturias, where the Principado is the title of the heir to the Spanish Throne.
'Cante de las Minas' Flamenco Festival
Fiesta de Verano
La Fiesta de La Borbolla
Mid-August to September. La Borbolla, Asturias.
A colorful display of dancers and musicians sing the "ramo" in tribute to the Virgin. Then they parade around the picturesque town and dance traditional dances of Asturias.
La Tomatina - The World's Biggest Food Fight
Last Update: 15SEP05
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