Spain Festivals and Events
All over the country, 6th January, 2000
It is the Day of the Three Kings, Los Reyes Magos, and since it
is they on their camels, rather than Santa Claus drawn by reindeer,
who distribute presents to children, the night of the 5 is a time
of tremendous excitement. The Kings and their retinue, in full regalia
and often accompanied by local public figures, form part of extravagant
processions of floats, bands and dancers through the major towns
and cities. The children of Majorca in the Balearics and Tenerife
in the Canaries get the added thrill of seeing the Kings arrive
by sea. These processions are a relatively recent phenomenon - Seville's,
the oldest, dates back only as far as 1916 - but they are very popular.
Much older are the plays featuring the Three Kings performed in
Aledo (Murcia), (Canada), (Alicante), Santillana del Mar (Cantabria)
and (Sanguesa Navarre).
Saint Anthony Abbot Feasts
All over the country, 17th January, 2000
Originated prior to 1365. Huge bonfires or "foguerons" are lit in
the middle of the streets where "canconers del Camp" march along
singing songs to tambourines and the beating of sticks the "colla
de demonis" group dances and sings to the sound of lyres, guitars
and tambourines, and crowds of boys and girls dressed in old-fashioned
costumes sing old songs and dance traditional dances. During the
festivity the blessing of the herd takes place before the altar
of Saint Anthony.
Santa Agueda Festivals
Zamarramalam , Segovia, 11th February
Zamarramala, province of Segovia. Very ancient in origin. The famous
governor's wives - who serve as stewards during the religious celebration-dressed
in sumptuous gowns from the 12th century and carrying the scepter
of authority lead the procession of Saint Agueda followed by the
married women who are dressed in farm clothes, and later attend
a banquet in which the priest is the only male present. The celebration
is ended with the ancient "Baile de Rueda" (Wheel Dance).
The Magdalena Festivals
All over the country, 17th & 19th March, 2000
Castellon de la Plana. Third Sunday of Lent. The originated in the
15th century and became very popular from 1945 on. The main events
are the picturesque cavalcade of the "prego", the parade which begins
the festivities, the "Romería de les Canyes", a pilgrimage
to the hermitage of Saint Mary Magdalene, the Return Night Procession
with the statue of the Crucified Christ of the Most Pure Blood,
and the parade of the "gaiatas", multicolored spangles and croziers.
All over the country, 18 to 22 th February
The celebration at Cadiz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife is very famous.
Cadiz - It includes a spirited procession, contests to chose the
best singers and comedians, fancy dress balls, the selection of
the queen of the festivities and fireworks. The main attraction
if the procession which is held the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Replicas of the original carnival celebrations,
consisting of parades with floats and 'murgas' or comic bands and
the singing of the island songs through the streets, together with
many folklore contests, including the Barcelona-Sitges International
Antique Car Rall.
Festivals of cars
Sitges, Barcelona, 3rd March, 2000
The festival consists of covering the route in cars built not later
than 1920. The participants dress up in costumes of the period.
Not only do Spanish automobile clubs take part in the rally, but
those from France and Andorra as well.
Fallas de San Jose
Valencia, 15th-19th March, 2000
Valencia, this "fiesta" dates from the Middle Ages. The festivity
represents the triumph of popular art, since its "fallan" monuments
and its "ninot" figures unmistakably reflect the happy and satirical
Valencian spirit. Among the most important acts which are the delight
of visitors and local inhabitants.
The whole country, 9-10th April, 2000
The celebration of Holy Week in the capital of Andalusia reaches
undreamed of religious and aesthetic heights. More than 50 brotherhoods
march in procession following an official route from the popular
Plaza de la Campana along the picturesque Sierpes Street, traveling
before the Plateresque Town Hall building, and after going through
the Gothic Cathedral, until they end up before the Giralda tower
and the Baroque Bishop's palace. The "pasos" of wood and silver,
covered with carnations, and with luxurious "pallium" for the statues
of the Virgins, rock gently on the shoulders of the bearers to the
rhythm of the "saetas", short and fervent prayers or hymns. The
religious images are the works of artists of genius, such as Roldan,
Juan de Mena and Martinez Montanes. Specially interesting are the
processions held Thursday afternoon and during the early morning
and afternoon of Friday.