Agenda

CARNIVALS

Annual carnival that focuses on putting on fancy costumes full of colors, dancing, taking part in various competitions and just having a lot of fun. Of course, everything with numerous parades.

The most characteristic elements of Verín carnival are flour fights, but beside couple of them, you can also find parades, music and dance shows, competitions, and food and alcohol tastings.

Four parades, colorful costumes and fantasy masks, confetti thrown at people during celebration, competition for the best paper costume, and drinks of wine with fruits, all of these during carnival in Águilas.

Sitges has the most attractive carnival in Catalonia and one of the best carnivals in Spain, attracting nearly 300,000 people in February. Colorful fiesta full of music and dance, the election of the King and Queen of the Carnival, as well as an amazing parade with 50 carnival swimmers and over 2,000 participants. The Carnival of Sitges is an interesting attraction for families. The main parade takes place in the evening, however, the youngest can participate in their own colorful parade in the afternoon.

The carnival in Barcelona is not as popular as in other Spanish cities, but it is gaining in importance every year. A lot of events are organized in the Catalan capital, with colorful costumes and masks. Local discos also offer themed games. Carnival is also a good opportunity to learn other than Catalan traditions and carnival customs. Numerous communities of foreigners in Barcelona bring closer the culture appropriate for their countries of origin.

The Carnival of Cadiz is known worldwide for being a “street festival”. Eleven days of uninterrupted and original fun in which everyone takes part, but it’s crucial to remember that costumes are mandatory. The whole city undergoes a metamorphosis and is filled with people who go out into the street to laugh, entertain others, sing and above all spend a great time. Two parades are organized where the audience becomes an active part of this colorful show. Fireworks show, dance games, costume balls and a lot of attractions mean that the carnival fun does not stop for a moment.

One of the oldest carnivals. Starts with “arrival of the Juanes”, so the characters in masks with crow’s beak and wolf’s claws. As at every carnival, there are parades and costume contests, but there is also a children’s carnival, where they have their own contests.

Torres Vedras is a small town known for the most famous carnival in Portugal. Every year the town changes into an entertainment center like little Rio de Janeiro. Crowds of supporters of good fun come here from both the capital and the whole country. The town itself is located about 50 km north of Lisbon. In this fun period, apart from dancing, you’ll see some funnily dressed Portuguese who take part in the parade, usually on the colorful platforms, where they play together every year.

The Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the most “Brazilian” of all celebrated in Spain and enjoys the international fame of one of the most popular in the world. One of the main attractions is the Queen’s Election Gala, followed by the carnival parade. Over the next three days, music and fun fill the city, while various carnival bands perform. The culmination is the march “Desfile del Coso”, a great parade, surprising all participants. The next day “Burial of Sardine” foreshadows the end of the event: the spirit of carnival, in the form of sardines, is carried on the platform to end in flames. However, the real farewell to the carnival is the “Piñata Chica”, which hosts performances, dances and parades.

Best events in January & February 2020

Original documents that are to depict the historical voyage of Magellan and Elcano, but also shows, staging, sculptures, figurines, and other objects that give the sense of history and allow to know the true challenges and feelings connected to this excursion.

The Guggenheim Museum presents Delacroix, Degas, Beckmann, Monet, Renoir, Liebermann, Vincent van Gogh and Friedrich and their art, and includes paintings, sculpture, engravings and drawings.

Collection of more than 300 of Goya’s drawings from private and museum’s collections that give the ideas and perspective of this artists.

Children dressed as shepherds parade with their flocks of sheep to worship the newborn Baby Jesus (Les Pastoretes); the edict about the arrival of Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar is read; donkeys with boxes on their backs collect children’s letters to the Three Kings. At the end, the Three Wise Men arrive to the city on camels, they carry big torches that light their road up, and give gifts to children. Everything is accompanied by the festivity sound.

The celebration starts with singing Christmas carols in churches and presentation and contest for the best Nativity. Then there is a sacral play, with elements that are described in the Bible (like arrival of Mary and Joseph to the rib), and at the end Three Kings parade takes place, during which inhabitants of the city put on stage events from the past.

Festivity in the form of carnival fun, symbolizing the victory of good over evil, in which a crowd of inhabitants participates in different masks, dressed in colorful costumes and leathers. The holiday ends with catching a “bear”. In this way, evil spirits are chased away and the new year is greeted with good predictions. A photo competition is also organized, in which participants try to reflect the best moments of this holiday.

The festival that promotes the cultural life of the islands, makes it more prestigious and promotes tourism. It consists of concerts of famous solo musicians and orchestras, but also artists that are starting their career but are promising talents.

The event about food with participation of famous, highly-valued chefs, their talks and cooking shows, where you will be able to see and try different dishes.

The celebration of the patron saint that is commemorated by the burning a huge bonfire (listed in the Guinness Book). It is accompanied by the horseback rides of people giving gifts to others, and tasting food typical for this celebration.

The marathon with more than 2000 athletes from the whole world that takes place amongst the Santiponce’s ruins, the city that lies next to Seville. A great opportunity to participate in sport event and see the beauty of this area.

The celebration focusing on the “Jarramplas”, a character with a specific mask and clothes. He goes around the streets of the city playing a drum, while people throw turnips towards him. It represents expelling cattle rustler from the city.

This is one of these noisy Spanish festivals, as it concentrates on the sound of the drums and parades of people basking drums for 24 hours.

The celebration that commemorates animals that took Saint Sebastian in after his martyrdom. Festivity full of music, dance, role plays, but also cakes and wine at the end.

Meeting point for professionals in tourism and all the people interested in this market, containing presentations, festivals, and exhibitions of new developments and solutions.

Gastrofestival is one of the most important gastronomic events in Madrid. Themed meals, tastings, courses, and culinary routes are just part of the event. It is designed to show the relationship between cooking and painting, cinema, literature and photography. Also the fashion world and the greatest fashion designers have their part during this period. The new gastronomy means healthy eating, so it is also the offer of organic stores and special dishes. There will also be something for wine lovers.

Music event that consists of many performances throughout almost six months. It concentrates on guitars, professionals and amateurs, with different styles of  guitars and the music they make, but is also accompanied by venues prepared for this event.

The festival of bands performing at the streets during the day, then having a competition, and at the end gathering together in town’s Social Club to celebrate for the whole night.

The great catwalk of Spanish Fashion during which collections of the best designers are presented, and new young talents are introduced to the market.

The winter festival of theatre, dance and art in action that will give you the opportunity to enjoy extraordinary shows with old and modern interpretation of elements you may know, but also bring a sense of something fresh in art.

The festivity concentrated on cattle, during which characters dressed up with many ribbons are walking around the streets that is to symbolize the walk of animals. At the end, when an animal comes back, the three shots are fired (into the air), and everybody is drinking limonada (mix of red wine and soda water).

Festival for children and whole families, where you can watch numerous shows and meet professionals in this area. The fair promotes among the youngest, but also gives the opportunity to new artists to promote themselves and start cooperation with them. Everything is accompanied with exhibitions and lectures, and the whole fair is very entertaining and educational.

Event that focuses on golf industry, its developments and golfing trends, with the usage of technology and new solutions, and participation of owners, managers, sponsors and delegates from all over Europe.

Six-day celebration filled with fireworks show, music bands, paso doble dances, parades and processions, to commemorate the patron of the city, Saint Blas, and Christians and Moors.

A kind of “winter celebration” of Saint Eulália, the patron of the city, during which Catalans celebrate their tradition with the procession of Les Laies huge figures, correfoc fire runs, while dancing sardana (Catalan dance), and building castells (human pyramids).

Music festival that commemorates Alfredo Krauss as a worldwide known tenor born in the Canaries. Event consists of performances of various operas with participation of famous musicians.

The festival of meat, when all of the restaurants in the city give botillo for one week. Besides, people can take part in exhibition and tasting of El Bierzo products with meat, but also nuts, honey and regional cheese and wine. Additionally, cultural events and big dinner accompany this day.

The exhibition sacrificed to Rembrandt’s role as a portrait painter, but with other artists’ elements. The event that gives the opportunity to get to know the history behind every portrait and people at them.

Medieval market during which you can put on clothes from Middle Ages, buy different kinds of food and see the scenes from Isabel and Diego legend.

The greatest flamenco artists come to this fantastic festival in the south of Spain. It is also worth seeing the presentation of dancing horses in Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, and visiting the wineries and the so-called “bodegas” with wine tasting.

The marathon that runs around the city of Seville and finishes at the Olympic Stadium. Focuses on different categories of runners and includes disabled people.

The film festival that focuses mainly on imagination, science-fiction, and fantasy movies, and is considered as one of the best of this genre, but also combines other genres, even horrors. You can see International and World Premieres, with participation of great producers, actors and directors, such as Max von Sydow, Guillermo del Toro or Danny Boyle, and many activities available, like screenings, book presentations, exhibitions, workshops, lectures and Q&A’s.

The fair of contemporary art where you can find galleries with works of art, collectors, and artists, and see how their work reflects modernity.

Screenings around the city accompanied with different cultural venues, but also other film-centered events like workshops, alternative shows and presentations.

The fair during which more than 3000 wines and 350 producers are presented. You can try different kinds of wines, but also see its essence and hear the talks of people connected to the wine business.

A medieval festival that commemorates the arrival of “La Pinta”, the caravel of Christopher Columbus to Baiona, with the news of the discovery of America. During this festival you can buy 15th century crafts, listen to the music typical to that period, but also see performances like for example knights’ fights, and wear a medieval costume.

See the Monfragüe National Park with its bird fair accompanied by recreational aspect and participation in guided tours, workshops, and contests.

Past events of November & December 2019

The masterpiece of the Austrian painter and one of the most famous kisses in art history will come to life in Spain,at Seville Navigation Pavilion, with Klimt’s Gold. An innovative proposal that will allow you to completely immerse yourself in the golden universe of Gustav Klimt through the latest technological advances. The exhibition offers a different perspective of Klimt’s cultural legacy, which ranges from his academic and classical steps, to the golden symphony of his unmistakable style.

The Barcelona International Jazz Festival is one of the city’s most well-established musical offerings. Music performances take place on various stages, such as Palau de la Música Catalana, Auditori del Fòrum or Conservatori del Liceu, as well as in several concert halls. The event brings together artists representing this music genre, being recognized on the national and international arena. The program is complemented by free concerts, master classes, conferences and meetings with artists.

The event was born to disseminate lesbian, gay and transsexual movies, short films, documentaries and video art. Year after year, the festival gained popularity and became a well-known event among the LGBT community. Film screenings are followed by debates and symposia related to the subject of the screening, with the participation of guests and the audience. Nearly 12,000 people take part in the festival.

Día de Todos los Santos or Todos Santos is a public holiday in Spain. The Spaniards visit cemeteries to pray for the souls of their loved ones and lay flowers at their burial sites. There is no custom of lighting a candle there. Some Spaniards perform the same ritual also on All Souls’ Day (November 2) and often on the weekend preceding All Saints’ Day. The celebration of this day in Spain is associated with some holidays celebrated locally (in some cities or municipalities) or regionally.

  • CADIZ (Andalusia – Spain) – Tosantos
    In the halls of the marketplaces (Mercado Central and Mercado Virgen del Rosario) are
    created separate areas, where quite grotesque compositions are created. They consist of
    peculiar puppets: animal heads (e.g. pigs, chickens, fish) and vegetables are dressed up as
    characters associated mainly with the world of politics, sport and film.
  • CATALONIA (Spain) – Castanyada or Castañada
    Much earlier, in the last days of October, on the streets of Barcelona and larger autonomy
    cities, sellers of grilled sweet chestnuts appear. According to Catalan tradition, chestnuts were
    supposed to help the waiters on the eve of All Saints’ Day to persist until morning. Currently,
    this is an opportunity for Catalans to meet in the outdoors with friends, walk and experience
    this exceptionally stirring, festive and autumn atmosphere.

The International Jazz Festival in Granada is one of the oldest operating in Europe and is a Spanish member of the Europe Jazz Network, organizing European jazz festivals. The event takes place with the participation of prestigious international characters from the world of modern jazz. Available concerts as part of the official program also take place with unofficial sessions at various locations in the city, as well as other event-related activities.

The hero of the fiesta is a fruit typical of the season – chestnut.During the festival, which is celebrated a different day each year, more than 300 kilo chestnuts and 200 kilo sweet potatoes are distributed on the town’s main square. Every year, around 3,500 people come to this Andalusian town to try local delicacies. One of the best-known hits of Alcaucin are delicious mantecado de canela cookies.

WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance), a music, art and dance festival from around the world, is a project of the British singer Peter Gabriel, aimed at presenting various musical rhythms. This year, its new edition is organized with the participation of numerous international artists. In addition to concerts, many parallel events are planned, such as vocal and instrumental workshops for adults, gastronomic tastings and courses for children, as well as cabaret performances, conferences and audiovisual projections.

The Fiesta del Orujo takes place during one November weekend and its tradition dates back to 1984. A key element of the festival and a pretext to organize it, is the tasting of the orujo liquor (40-50% of alcohol) produced in this part of Spain. Celebrations are accompanied by musical events, concerts, folk dance shows and stalls with local products. In addition to the title drink, during Fiesta del Orujo you can also taste regional dishes such as: cocido lebaniego, borono and picón bejes-tresviso.

In November, the European Film Festival takes place in Seville and gathers a large number of viewers. Its headquarters is the Nervión Plaza cinema. Pre-release screenings of many award- winning European films take place. Every year, the festival attracts the best creators of both short and feature films.

Barcelona Independent Film Festival, L’Alternativa, has its 26th edition. It offers filmgoers and professionals an occasion to discover and enjoy screenings and activities. The festival is for people who value creative freedom, diversity, innovation, commitment and thought-provoking reflection. There are many sections of film types, including Spanish Films, premieres, little-known films, but also performances and debates.

The Davis Cup is the most important team tennis competition that dates back to 1900. To that date, cup systems are held in international and continental groups, on four three-day dates throughout the year and on the hard courts of one of the teams, this time in Spain. In Madrid, in The Caja Mágica stadium, 18 teams will be divided into six groups. The groupswinners and two final winners with the best balance from second places, will advance to the quarter-finals. From this moment, the competition will continue in the cup system.

Although stalls with Christmas gifts and food can be found throughout the city, this most famous market is located in Plaza Mayor. It is the largest square of Madrid located in the heart of the Spanish capital. Tourists visit it all year round, but in December it changes into a noisy place full of food and handicraft stalls. The roots of the market go back to 1860. In addition to all products to buy, the fair is a place where are displayed Christmas balls and other performances, kept in a festive atmosphere.

The oldest and the best-known Christmas market, is the biggest one in Barcelona, “LaFira de Santa Llúcia”, which is a part of Christmas tradition of Spain. It takes place at Plaza de la Catedral in the shadow of the Gothic cathedral. The first fair took place in this place as early as 1786. It consists of around 300 stalls full of decorations, presents and everything that connects with celebrating Christmas. The most important days during this market are 13 (Santa Lucia Day) 15 of December, when festivals, concerts, and competitions take place. In
addition to Christmas trees, mistletoe, decorations and Christmas cribs figurines, you can also buy Caga Tió, a festive symbol characteristic of Catalonia. It is a creature whose torso forms a wooden block and has a traditional, red Catalan hat.

163 craft workshops in Madrid, with representatives of other autonomous communities, participate in this Christmas market. You can buy handicrafts from jewelry, ceramics, textiles, engraving, toys, hats, glasses, frames etc.

Coinciding with the Spanish December long weekend, from 3 to 9 December the International MadBear Festival returns to Madrid. And it’s not about teddy bears or furry predators … only about “bear-like” gays! This event invites all “Bears”, “Hunters”, “Chubbies” and devotees of this community. The fun begins during the day and lasts until late at night, and is accompanied by special dinners, parties in various saunas in the Chueca district (known as the gay epicenter of Madrid) and the Mister Madbear 2019 election.

The largest Christmas market in Seville takes place at Plaza Nueva. It is worth mentioning that in addition to the traditional Christmas markets at Plaza Nueva there are also book fairs. You can find both old and valuable copies as well as contemporary specialized books. Another interesting proposition for lovers of sweets is combined with sales – an exhibition of various traditional cakes and pastries prepared by nuns. Another interesting point is that individual craftsmen and craft companies with craft lists and their own design and development are taking part in this fair, showing their craft ideas.

On December 28 in Ibi, in the province of Alicante, Valencia, there is a symbolic battle for power, in which flour and eggs are used as weapons! The representatives of the New Authority, the Enfarinants, dressed in military uniforms and cylinders, are trying to impose their justice. They collect taxes that are later donated to charity. A symbolic arrest is being mounted on the main square in Ibi; this is also where the decisive clash takes place between power-hungry teams. A merry battle begins, consuming dozens of eggs and kilograms of flour. At lunchtime, there is a ceasefire so that participants can enjoy the delights of local cuisine. Los Enharinados is one of the funniest fiestas in Spain, full of folklore, music, fun and food!

Main celebrations in Spain throughout the year

Date Name Area
1 January New Year (Año Nuevo) Whole Spain
6 January Ephiphany (Reyes Magos) Whole Spain
20 January Tamborrada of Donostia (La Tamborrada de San Sebastián) San Sebastián
28 February Andalusia Day (Día de Andalucía) Andalusia
1 March Day of The Balearic Islands (Día de las Islas Baleares) Balearic Islands
15-19 March The Falles (Fallas de Valencia) Valencia
19 March Saint Joseph’s Day, Father’s Day (San José, Día del Padre) Whole Spain
21-24 April Moors and Christians (Moros y Cristianos) Alicante
23 April Castile and León Day (Día de Castilla y León) Castilla y León
23 April Aragon Day (Día de Aragón) Aragon
23 April Saint George's Day (Día de San Jorge/ SantJordi) Catalonia
1 May International Workers's Day / Labor Day (Día Internacional de los Trabajadores) Whole Spain
2 May Day of the Autonomous Community of Madrid (Día de la Comunidad de Madrid) Madrid
11-15 May Isidore the Farmer’s Day (Fiestas de San Isidro) Madrid
30 May Day of the Canary Islands (Día de Canarias) Canary Islands
31 May Day ofCastilla-La Mancha (Día de Castilla-La Mancha) Castilla-La Mancha
9 June Day of La Rioja (Día de La Rioja) La Rioja
9 June Day of the Region of Murcia (Día de la Región de Murcia) Murcia
13 June El Marrano de San Antón La Alberca
20-24 June Bonfires of Saint John (Hoguerasde San Juan de Alicante) Alicante
29 June Haro Wine Battle Festival (Batalla del vino) Haro
6-14 July Festival of San Fermín(Las Fiestas de San Fermín) Pamplona
25 July Day of Galicia (DíaNacional de Galicia) Galicia
4-9 August Virgen Blanca Festivities (Fiestas de la Virgen Blanca) Vitoria-Gasteiz
15 August Assumption of Mary (Asuncion de la Virgen María) Whole Spain
15 August Fiestas de la Paloma Madrid
16 August A Festa da Auga/ Fiesta del Agua Villagarcía de Arosa
27 August – 1 September Cipotegato Tarazona
29 August La Tomatina Buñol
2 September Day of Ceuta (Día de Ceuta) Ceuta
8 September Day of Extremadura (Día de Extremadura) Extremadura
8 September Day of Asturias (Día de Asturias) Asturias
11 September National Day of Catalonia (Día de Cataluña) Catalonia
9 October Valencian Community Day (Día de la Comunidad Valenciana) Autonomous Community of Valencia
12 October National Day of Spain (Día de la Hispanidad/ Fiesta Nacional de España) Whole Spain
25 October Day of the Basque Country (Día del País Vasco) Basque Country
1 November All Saints' Day (Día de Todos los Santos) Whole Spain
6 December Day of the Constitution (Dia de la Constitución) Whole Spain
8 December Immaculate Conception (Inmaculada Concepción) Whole Spain
22 December Spanish Christmas Lottery (Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad / Lotería de Navidad) Whole Spain
25 December Christmas (Navidad) Whole Spain
28 December Feast of the Holy Innocents (Día de los Santos Inocentes) Whole Spain
28 December ElsEnfarinats Ibi (Alicante)