Travelers from all corners of the globe jet set to Spain to experience a laid back way of life and to bask in the sunshine on the pristine white sand beaches along the Mediterranean Sea. If you look a little closer you will find that there is more to this country than clicking castanets, flowing flamenco skirts and mariachi bands. Spain is the land of holidays and festivals. In every city, town and village there are always celebrations of some kind happening and the summer months bring out some of the best soirees Spain has to offer. Whether they’re celebrating Saints, celebrating life, or just celebrating to celebrate, this country is ready to party. Just make sure to pack some confetti and a noisemaker and you’ll fit right in.
May: Have you been thinking about traveling to Madrid? You might want to consider doing so during the first two weeks of May. Outdoor concerts and lively festivities that are centered around the celebration of the city’s patron saint, San Isidro, happen from the 2nd to the 15th of May. This festival is a unique chance for visitors to experience the most authentic customs of Madrid and experience the city at its most typical, as locals often dress in the traditional chulapo and goyesco costumes. In the world of bullfighting, the San Isidro Festival marks the start of the bullfighting season and is the world’s largest bullfighting event and attracts some of the area’s most renowned matadors.
June: The ‘Bonfires of St. John’ are celebrated in many places along Spain’s coast, but nowhere more so than in Alicante. For nine days, beginning on June 20th, the streets of the city fill with people who are all eager to ring in the summer solstice! Figures made of paper mache, cardboard and wood are placed throughout Alicante and are lit on fire at midnight on St. John’s Day. The festival is highlighted by a fantastic display of fireworks and the bonfires illustrate the life of the city, as the streets become a permanent source of entertainment with local vendors, parades and vivacious processions.
July: The Spanish city of Pamplona throws one of the world’s biggest outdoor parties from July 6th to the 14th. Thousands of locals and visitors congregate in the city, anxiously awaiting the mayor’s announcement that the San Fermin Fiestas and the running of the bulls have officially begun! This iconic holiday is a vibrant celebration of food, wine and merriment! The Bull Run takes place every morning during the festival at 8am and tension builds as the release of the bulls looms near. Spectators cheer on the runners that are dressed in all white with red handkerchiefs tied around their necks, as they run through the streets.
August: If you’re a quirky sort of individual, you should look into visiting Valencia and attending one of the most unusual festivals in the world that happens just outside the city in the town of Bunol. La Tomatina, otherwise known as the Tomato Fight Festival, happens on the last Wednesday in August and is an immensely popular celebration where thousands of people, dressed in clothing that is doomed for the wastebasket, come to participate in the world’s biggest food fight. More than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets and the assault, like all good battles, is over in less than an hour.
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