Semana Santa



More December Events:

Catalonian International Film Festival, Sitges,

Christmas Feria de Santa Lucía, Barcelona

by RoughGuides/

Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos, Alicante comunitat

Festival Música Antigua, Úbeda/ Baeza festivalubeday



Festivals, Fiestas, Ferias & Feasts


Immaculate Conception || Three Kings Festival || Tamborrada de San Sebastian



Before moving into Advent, the Church calendar ends in December with the Immaculate Conception of Mary. 

Fiestas Patronales de la Virgen del Castillo
8th of December. Yecla, Murcia.

Among the celebrations in the Virgin's honour are a procession of her image from the shrine of the castle and special Mass.

The origin of Christmas and other celebrations commemorating the birth of Christ on the 25th of December was chosen for ideological reasons, with the purpose being to combat the winter solistice pagan sun festival held on the same day or on solistice itself (December 21st). The Roman Saturnalia, the great year-end Carnaval, was also held at this time.  The earliest recorded festivals of this nature come to us from Egypt.

December 25. Murcia.
In this pre-Christian tradition, in the early hours of the 25th of December, the "campanas de auroras" (dawn bells) group "Los Auroro" perform their ancient and sober compositions.

December 24-25. Lesaca, Navarra.
Among the most unusual Christmas celebrations is that of the "Olentzero," wherein the story of a charcoal burner who comes down from the mountains to the town to tell the good news is depicted. The character of the "Olentzero" or "Olentzaro," to be found in various places in Navarra and Guipuzcoa, has been preserved in Lesaca especially, where he is carried shoulder-high by many different groups on Christmas Eve.

Cant de Sa Sibilla/Hymn to St Sibyl
December 25. Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands.
Preparations for Christmas take the form of morning choruses and the "Canta de San Sibilla" throughout the south of France, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Corsica. This festival was banned by the Council of Trent (possibly for its pagan roots). Nevertheless, the Bishop of Mallorca decided to allow it to take place: hence its preservation. The word sibyl means a revealer of the counsels of God, or a prophetess. Her story is in the Old Testament.

December-January. Barcelona, Catalunya.
Nativity plays are very widespread in Spain, especially in Catalonia, where they are called "pessebres" (crib-performances) or "pastorests" (shepherd plays) and acted out by the local townspeople. One of the better-known "pessebres" takes place in Corbera de Llobregat (Barcelona).

El Greco. The Immaculate Conception.

El Greco
The Immaculate Conception

1610s. Oil on canvas. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano-Castagnola, Switzerland

Immaculate Conception is the 8th of December. The Immaculate Conception of Mary was promulgated as dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain (that’s what "immaculate" means: without stain). From the first instant of her existence, Mary was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings.


Cabalgata de Los Reyes Magos, Malaga more
La Tamborrada, San Sebastián more

Reyes Magos/Epiphany
January 5-6. All over Spain
Celebrations take two fundamental forms: the play of the three Magi, and a mounted procession. Plays are currently staged specially in Aledo and Churra in Murcia and Canada (Alicante), Sanguesa (Navarra), Santillana del Mar (Cantabria) or Viso de los Pedroches (Cordoba) -- this latter one taking place once every four years. The whole country celebrates the Day of the Three Kings, Los reyes Magos, since it is they on their camels - rather than Santa Claus drawn by reindeer - who distributes presents to children the night of the 5th. The Kings and their retinue, in full regalia and often accompanied by local public figures, form part of the extravagant processions of floats, bands and dancers through the major towns and cities.

Three Kings Festival
January 5-6 Malaga


Fiestas de San Antonio Abad
January 17. Mallorca, Balearic Islands.
On the eve and actual day of this Saint, there are "foguerons" (bonfires) in many parts of Mallorca, with "demons" dancing round. Other activities include a greased-pole contest.

Tamborrada de San Sebastian/The San Sebastian Drum Festival.
January. San Sebastian, Basque Country.
A march to the deafening sounds of drums, as groups of drummers parade through the city on the night of the first day of the year. The next morning, the "Tamborrada Infantil" (Child Drummer's Ceremony) is celebrated. That night, they celebrate the patron Saint of the city.

Day of the Three Kings in Valencia



La Candelaria Candlemas Festival Madrid Spain
Madrid by RoughGuides/TravelNow

Carnaval de Cádiz, Cádiz more

Carnival Santa Cruz de Tenerife more

REGGUS. Festival de Reggae, Ska y Otras Hierbas

La Palma de la ciutat de Reus (Tarragona).


Wedding of Isabel de Segura, Teruel

Festival de Jerez, Jerez de la Frontera

Fira i Festes de la Magdalena, Castellón de la Plana


Last Update: 15SEP05
Last Link Check: 07OCT05