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Fiestas in Spain

What better than to arrive in some small Spanish village expecting no more than a bed for the night, and find that the streets are decked out with flags and baloons, a band is playing in the square and the entire local population is out enjoying the party atmosphere!

Everywhere from the smallest village to the biggest City in Spain dedicates a couple of days to celebrating in this way: the local fiesta. Usually it is the local Saint that provides the reason to celebrate, but really any excuse will do whether it be deliverance from the Moors, harvests or safe return from the sea!

There are also a couple of events in the Catholic calendar, most notably Semana Santa (Holy Week), which in Southern Spain sees religious floats carried through the streets in a wildly theatrical style. These are accompanied by the hooded penitents atoning for the year's sins.

Each fiesta is different. In Pamplona in Basque Country they celebrate the 'running of the bulls' in July; in Andalucia , horses, flamenco and guitars are integral to the celerations; at the fiesta of Las Fallas in March in Valencia, huge bonfires and firework displays form the basis of the party. The fiestas can also get very strange indeed, with parades of devils or full blown water and tomato fights!

You can see details of the local festivals for each region in our region travel guide.

Festivals in Spain

There are many important annual festivals in Spain. Among them are:

The International Music and Dance Festival of Granada.
June - July (concerts; Spanish light opera (Zarzuela); opera; Classical and modern dance; and flamenco).

The International Music Festival of Barcelona.
September-October. (Orchestral music, choirs, bands and soloists.)

The International Festival of Santander.
Second half of July-first half of August. (Music dance and theatre.)

The Merida Theatre Festival.
Staged at the Roman theatre in Merida. End of July-beginning of August. (Greco-Roman and Mediterranean classical theatre exclusively.)

The National Classical Theatre Festival of Almagro.
Three weeks in September. (National and international classical theatre).

The Madrid Autumn Festival.
Mid-September to early October. (Concerts, opera, theatre, classical and modern dance.)

The San Sebastian International Film Festival
September. Official competition includes feature-length and short films. Other parallel showings.

The Valladolid International Week of Film.
October. Official competition and parallel sections.

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