Nobody does a festival quite like the Spanish. From the world’s biggest food fight to spectacular music events, festivals in Spain are a chance to celebrate in real style. Take a closer look at our list of Spanish festivals to find your favourite one.
1) La Tomatina
Held in late August, La Tomatina is the messiest Spanish festival of the lot.
Every year, up to 300,000 people gather in the Valencian town of Buñol for this tomato-throwing extravaganza. Believe it or not, it all started in 1945 as a protest against Franco’s regime. Running battles took place in the streets of Buñol and people threw whatever they could get their hands on; in most cases, this just happened to be tomatoes.
This usually quiet place draws in crowds from all around the globe for La Tomatina. They take to the streets to get involved in this huge tomato-throwing fight. Over 100 metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are tossed around during the day, making this the world’s biggest food fight. Don’t forget to pack your goggles, and a top you won’t mind throwing away afterwards.
2) Festival Internacional de Benicàssim
You may have already heard of this event. Benicàssim is a four-day music festival that’s a firm favourite among music-loving Brits, and it brings in international music fans, too.
This Spanish festival takes place over on the east coast of Spain, between Barcelona and Valencia, and it comes with an amazing backdrop of sun-soaked beaches and sparkling seas. More importantly, you can expect some star-studded line-ups on the main stage. Big names like Radiohead, The Killers, Bob Dylan and Oasis have all played in the past.
Not only is this one of the best Spanish festivals for music lovers, it’s also great for families; this seaside city has a waterpark and loads of family-friendly accommodation.
3) Las Fallas
In March every year, Valencia comes to life with the sights and sounds of Las Fallas (which translates as ‘the fires’). It’s a bit like bonfire night, but a lot more chaotic, and the atmosphere is just brilliant.
A celebration of patron saint San José, it’s true to say that Las Fallas is an excuse for the city to really let loose. There’s a proper party atmosphere going on, with events all over the city. Among the highlights are the huge Fallas structures crafted from wood and paper mâché. They’re paraded around the streets the week before the festival, before being set alight on the final night (which is called la crema).
There’s no shortage of firework displays either, as well as firecrackers at every turn. Don’t miss the street parties that pop up all across the city; they’re particularly popular among the younger crowd.
If you happen to be in Spain during the week leading up to Lent, you’re in for a treat. Spain hosts some of the biggest and best Carnival festivals anywhere in Europe, and you’ll find some of the best-known events taking place in Tenerife, Cadiz, and Sitges.
This is the time of year where open-air parties take over the streets throughout Spain. Every town celebrates Carnival in its own way, but you can usually expect drinking and dancing galore, as well as colourful costumes and masks.
What’s your favourite festival in Spain? Let us know in the comments below.