Las fiestas del Pilar are the patron festivities of Zaragoza (Aragon, Spain) celebrated in honor of La Virgen del Pilar, patron saint of the city. They take place the week of October 12th in which is celebrated the patronal party. Usually, the festivities last about ten days. In 1980 they were declared Fiestas de Interés Turístico Nacional. In Las Fiestas del Pilar there are a number of events organized by the city council, and also joined by a number of private initiatives from organizations or private groups that take advantage of the week to organize shows, competitions and other activities of popular interest.
There is a legend that the night of September 24th, 1218, the Virgin appeared to King James I, St. Peter Nolasco and St. Ramon of Penyafort. She asked them to create an order of monks dedicated to saving Christians. Barcelona suffered a plague and was placed in the hands of the Virgin of Mercè. After the plague, the City Council appointed her patroness of Barcelona. La Mercè achieved the authentically popular festivity thanks to the collaboration of entities from all over the city. Today, La Mercè is an event that festively occupies a large number of public spaces focused on Mediterranean culture. Barcelona brings together a huge program that will offer you: street art, parades, concerts, traditional dances…
The Festivities of Santa Tecla de Tarragona take place around September 23rd, and they last ten full days. They are a big deal in the city of Tarragona. The festivities began in 1321 when the relic of the arm of Santa Tecla, coming from the eastern lands of Armenia, arrived in the city of Tarragona. In the year 1370 the document of the Ordinances of the archbishop of Pere Clasquerí establishes the ritual sequence for the two central days of the holidays. This ritual has remained the same until the present time. Among the most singular elements are: -The Popular or Seguici Court: set of dances, beasts, allegorical representations, dramatic dances and popular musicians. -The Human Castles or Castells: groups of men, women and children creating towers up to ten stories high.
Flamenco is a style of music and dance proper of the región of Andalucia, Extremadura and Murcia. Its primary aspects are the singing, and the dancing, with its own traditions and rules. As we know it today, it is dated back to the 18th century, and there is a controversy about its origin, since there are different opinions, and none has been proved in a historical form.
The Tomatina is an event celebrated in the Valencian municipality of Buñol (Spain). It is always celebrated the last Wednesday of the month of August, within the week of festivities of Buñol and it consists of throwing tomatoes to each other. According to some historians, its origin is due to a joke. A man was in the town square singing and playing music, when a group of young people who listened to him began throwing tomatoes that they took out of a fruit and vegetable stand in the square, because the man sang very well. Everyone in the square decided to join and ended up in a battle of tomatoes. In (Zaragoza) it is said that the Tomatina de Buñol was actually driven by “El Deivi”, a Turiasonan character and a great professional of the Cipotegato. In 1980, the City Council took responsibility for organizing the festivity.
The Semana Grande de Bilbao is the main festivity that is celebrated annually for nine consecutive days from the Saturday after August 15th, the festivity of the Assumption of Our Lady. The “comparsas” are the heart of La Semana Grande de Bilbao. They emerged with the festive model of 1978 and they are people that are grouped to organize the parties through the txoznas of El Arenal, music and different activities during the 9 days. Not only activities are realized en la Semana Grande, but also they encourage the Carnival and the St. Thomas Fair. At the moment there are 30 comparsas, and the oldest ones are Bizizaleak, Hontzak, Pinpilinpauxa, Satorrak, Tintigorri, Txomin Barullo and Uribarri.
The International Descend of the Sella is commonly known as “Les Piragües”, celebrated the first Saturday of August between the cities of Arriondas y Ribadesella, a 15km travel along the Sella River. Around the descend it is celebrated the “Fiesta de las Piraguas” declared fiesta de Interés Turístico Internacional. FEVE puts that day at the disposal of the fans the “Fluvial Train” that travels parallel to the river where the competition happens, with stops and different spots where you can get off and have a closer look of the competition. At the end, a typical asturian food is served in los Campos de la Oba (Lloviu) that consists of beans and rice pudding and the trophies are handed in.
The festivities in honor to the White Virgin are celebrated in Vitoria (Álava) Spain. They begin on August 4th and end on August 9th, being August 5th the day of White Virgin. In the town square, thousands of vitorians and visitors gather to commence the celebration with Celedón, a figure that represents an old villager. After his arrival to San Miguel Church they dance the traditional aurresku and you can hear the traditional and expected: Gora Gasteiz, Gora Celedón! The youngsters soak in the centric fountains. The protagonists of these festivities are the blusas quarters, men and women dressed with typical clothes that organize many activities and fill these days with good humor. Different spectacles, concerts, and parties are organized in various places around the city. The last day, August 9th, is the so called dia del guarro, where the quarters in the parades walk smeared in flour. Also several cultural activities of the own Basque Country are held, like sports championships of basque ball, trikitixa concerts and bertsolaris competitions.
Discovering Spain is to discover the culture of the bulls, almost every of its cities possess a bullring. By tradition and frequency of bull spectacles some are of 1st category such as Las Ventas in Madrid or La Maestranza in Sevilla. You will enjoy of a festive atmosphere and if the work has been done right and his is successful in his triumph, you will see the bullfighter exit through the big door.
The city of Pamplona is known all over the world thanks to the events of San Fermín. Thousands of people arrive every year to live the risk and excitement of their popular imprisonment, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his novel Fiesta. During nine days, dressed in the typical white and red suits, Pamploneses and visitors are carried away by the festive spirit that constantly invades the streets. San Fermin begins on July 6, at 12 o’clock in the morning. Hundreds of people run in front of the bulls following the route through the old town that leads them to the bullring. Every day, from the 7th to the 14th of July, this brief and intense race is repeated. One of the most emotional moments occurs a few minutes before the start of the bull run, when runners are entrusted to San Fermín singing three times before a small image on the Cuesta de Santo Domingo. San Fermín ends on July 14th at 12 pm, where people gather in the Town Hall Square. They sing “Poor of me”, with lightning candles saying goodbye to their festivities until the following year.