Celebrating creativity, what we have in common, and taking a stand

Spanish festivals

February 4th, 2012 Posted in ... Other

What do Spaniards have that other countries appear to be missing?
There seem to be many bizarre traditions and abundant festivities that are unique to Spain.

Example 1: The annual festival of Els Enfarinats.

In the town of Ibi in Alicante, on December 28 as part of celebrations related to the Day of the Innocents,
participants dressed in mock military dress stage a 'coup' pretending to take over the town. Dressed in a slovenly manner, they enter banks and shops stirring up trouble in a good-humoured way, imposing fines on shopkeepers and bankers, mocking local dignitaries and reading humorous speeches. Those who oppose are assaulted with flour cakes and eggs:

Example 2: La Tomatina.

In the town of Bunol in the Valencia region of Spain, on August 31, several 10 thousands people pelt each other with tons of ripe tomatoes.
The origin of the Tomatina festival dates back to 1944. During a parade of gigantes y cabezudos, young men who wanted to participate in the event staged a brawl. Since there was a vegetable stand nearby, they picked up tomatoes and used them as weapons. The police had to intervene to break up the fight, and forced those responsible to pay the damages incurred. The following year the young people repeated the fight, only this time they brought their own tomatoes from home. They were again dispersed by the police. After repeating this in subsequent years, the party was, albeit unofficially, a fact:

Example 3: The festival of San Fermín (or Sanfermines)

This festival in Navarre, from 6-14 July is known for the encierro, or the running of the bulls.
The week-long celebration involves many other traditional and folkloric events:


Example 4: The Spanish Baby Jumping Festival of El Colacho

Every year during the month of June, the Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos holds its traditional Baby-Jumping Festival as part of its Corpus Christi celebrations. During the act, known as El Colacho, men dressed as the Devil (known as the Colacho) leaps over babies born during the previous twelve months of the year who lie on mattresses in the street:

Example 5: Fallas in Valencia

The city of Valencia particularly has some great events, e.g. the international fireworks festival:

After all that fireworks violence you can get some reat in Europe’s biggest aquarium, the Oceanografic, or visit the City of Arts and Sciences.

Running in front of bulls is not my sport, but for all those other festivals I wouldn't mind living in Spain!

For strange festivals in other countries look here and view my earlier post about Holi.

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