The celebrations in Spain are unparalleled, so much so that they have achieved worldwide fame and many of them receive international tourists, such as Easter, the Sanfermines or the Fallas. Some have even been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Our country is known for its festivals, and the rich Spanish cultural tradition means that in each province or town there is a mythical festival. Choosing among these is not an easy task, we wish we could attend all of them at least once in a lifetime, but we have selected the most popular ones.
Discover the most famous cultural activities in Spain, from religious origins, ancestral traditions to simply part of our culture.
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Semana Santa (Holy Week)
Easter is one of the most traditional popular festivals in Spain, where the death and resurrection of Jesus is celebrated in the Christian religion. It is not exclusive to the country, but it is the most important worldwide.
It goes from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, in days between March or April, depending on the year. Throughout the week processions are organized that represent a scene from the life of Jesus Christ with certain religious images carried by costaleros and accompanied by Nazarenes.
It is a festival that is celebrated throughout Spain, but the most prominent is in Andalusia, especially in Seville, Granada and Malaga.
In Granada, the Cristo de los Gitanos (Christ of the Gypsies) is the longest procession in the city and ends at the Sacromonte Abbey. The last part of it is the most characteristic, in a complicated route, since it has to climb the steep Cuesta del Chapiz in the Albaicín. The gypsies of his neighborhood accompany him singing and dancing zambras, rumbas or bulerias.
It is an ideal time to visit the city and immerse yourself in the Granaina tradition. You can take the opportunity to take one of our Granada Tours, especially the one that goes through the Sacromonte and Albaicín neighborhoods to learn more about this emblematic area.
It is also the perfect time to discover the jewel of the city with one of our Alhambra Tours that will take you through the most special corners of its palaces, gardens and the Generalife.
Fallas of Valencia
The Fallas are celebrated throughout the month of March in Valencia, in honor of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters. Originally, these professionals took their old tools to the streets and burned them in the early morning of March 19.
Over the years, the festivity has evolved to what it is known today, where papier-mâché figures are burned. These are authentic ephemeral works of art that usually represent satirical scenes of current events.
The city is filled with music, fireworks, food, and people dancing. It is one of the most popular and peculiar festivals in Spain, a must for lovers of art and culture.
San Fermin in Pamplona
The Sanfermines are known worldwide, they are part of the tradition of Spain, so much so that they have been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage. A combination of religious, secular and popular culture that begins on July 6 and ends on July 14.
Every year it brings together, both locals and tourists from all over the world, in the streets of Pamplona full of music and people with the typical dress completely in white and a red sash and scarf around their necks.
The quintessential practice of this festival is the running of the bulls. Every day at 8 o’clock in the morning several bulls are released through certain streets of the city so that the bravest run in front of them. The route ends in the bullring.
The Fiesta Mayor de Gràcia, popularly known as the Fiestas de Gràcia, is a festival that is organized in this famous neighborhood of Barcelona. The main attraction is the striking spectacle of colors offered by the streets and squares that participate in the contests of the same.
It lasts 7 days, and activities are organized for all kinds of audiences, from families with activities for children to seniors in one of the many orchestras.
It is ideal to enjoy the wide cultural offer of Barcelona. If you are a photography lover it is also a good time to capture some different panoramic views of the streets of the city.
Patios of Cordoba
Cordoba dresses in flowers in May with the popular festival of the patios of Cordoba, declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The construction of these patios dates back to the tradition of the Roman and Arab cultures, today they are part of the lifestyle of the people of Cordoba.
This festivity began as a “competition” to have the most beautiful courtyard, to show social status. After the processions, the custom of visiting the neighborhood courtyards became popular among the neighbors until 1918, when it was formalized by the City Council.
Currently, it is possible to make a route through the best courtyards of Cordoba, divided into the area of the Jewish quarter, the area of San Pedro or Santa Marina, among others. In addition, the streets are full of atmosphere, with Cordobeses and tourists who come to see this floral spectacle.
Crosses of Granada
The Crosses of May is a religious festival that is celebrated throughout Andalusia, although the most famous city for this festival is Granada. An event marked by the Andalusian character.
The streets of Granada are full of people, people dance flamenco, taste typical products such as wine or tapas and enjoy the party in the street taking advantage of the arrival of good weather. The historic center of the city is full of atmosphere, where it is common to find musical performances.
But what stands out the most are the crosses decorated with flowers or colored paper, an art with a strong traditional character. The crosses of the Albaicin, the Casa de los Pisas and the Association of neighbors in Zafra Street have won first prize several times. In the Realejo, the Corrala de Santiago, a spectacularly decorated courtyard, stands out.
This is an excellent time to visit the city, decorated in cheerful colors, where you can breathe the Andalusian atmosphere. In addition, there are numerous things to do in Granada taking advantage of the trip to enjoy this festivity.
Now you know the most famous cultural activities in Spain, a perfect way to immerse yourself in the tradition and the purest essence of some of the most emblematic cities in the country. How many festivals in Spain have you attended?