Spain is one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. The country has a rich culture and heritage that is reflected in the numerous vibrant festivals that are held here. Some of these Spanish fiestas have been designated with the title of “Fiesta of International Tourist Interest” by the Spanish government’s tourism ministry. Some of them are mentioned below:
Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Every year, the global city and capital of the Canary Islands, the Santa Cruz de Tenerife, hosts a carnival that attracts thousands from all over the globe. This carnival is believed to be the world’s second most popular carnival after the one held in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. The festival starts with an opening parade that continues into the night when thousands of people dressed up fancily start dancing until the dawn next day. The carnival continues for several days until Ash Wednesday.
The La Tomatina is held each year in the town of Buñol in Valencia. It is a unique festival where the participants throw tomatoes at each other just for pure fun and entertainment. The festival which started in 1945, is held on the last Wednesday of August each year.
The Ruta del Tambor y el Bombo
This festival of Germany celebrates Easter and the Passion of Christ. The festivities are held in nine towns in the Spanish province of Teruel. The residents wear special tunics during this time. Processions are held and drums are played. According to tradition, the drums must be played by the drum players at the same time to emulate the tremor after Jesus' death. The festival traces its origins to ancient or medieval era ceremonies. Prior to the 1980’s, only men were allowed to play the drums but this rule changed to also accommodate women drum players.
Los Carnavales de Cádiz
One of Spain’s most popular carnivals, this carnival involves the use of humor, sarcasm, irony, and mockery to express concerns regarding the pressing issues of today’s world. It is held each year for two weeks in the city of Cádiz located in the Province of Cádiz.
The Romería de El Rocío
Every year, on the second day of the Pentecost, a religious festival or pilgrimage takes place in the Spanish countryside of Almonte. Nearly a million pilgrims arrive at Almonte to start their pilgrimage to the Hermitage of El Rocío in honor of the Virgin of El Rocío. In order to reach the hermitage, the pilgrims need to cross the Doñana National Park. Around 20,000 horses, oxen, and mules are used to assist the pilgrims on their journey. Sadly, however, this pilgrimage has for long been associated with many animal deaths. The long and arduous journey has killed many of the overworked animals during this pilgrimage. Protests over the years have, however, helped reduce the number of deaths to some extent but greater measures are required to stop animals from being exploited on this journey.
Moros y Cristianos
This festival is held in several Spanish cities and towns, especially in those of the Valencian Community. The festival reminds one of the battles and fights between the Moors and the Christians during the Reconquista. Festive parades are held during this time. Participants dress up either as Christians or Moors and stage shows of fighting between the two groups with the Christians always winning a simulated battle in the end. Gunpowder shots, fireworks, and medieval music accompany the parades and streets shows held during this festival.
The Falles Of Valencia
This traditional festival is held from March 15 to 19 every year in the Valencia city of Spain in commemoration of Saint Joseph. The celebrations during this time include spectacular fireworks, bonfires, fiesta, and more. Giant papier-mâché figures as tall as 20 ft are displayed on every corner of the city. Colorful parades are also a part of the celebrations.