Village Fiestas
Language Resources

Village Fiestas in Spain

As summer begins, Spanish villages start to prepare for their local fiestas, a tradition that no tourist should miss the opportunity to experience, whether they’re from another country or just a city slicker summering in the village.

Each village has its own traditions and customs when it comes to celebrating summer fiestas, but there are also similarities that can be found in practically all of them. We’ll take a look at some of those similarities below.

One of the most common customs found in all Spanish village fiestas are the markets. That being said, there are all types of markets: Medieval, 60’s theme, and many other themes depending on the town where the fiesta is taking place.

At the markets, you can always find handmade bracelets, exotic objects from other cultures (that were actually made by people from the village), and all types of things that you may think could be found more commonly at multi-themed bazaars rather than at specific kinds of festivals.  

The markets are usually kept up throughout the whole fiesta, both day and night. But it’s when the sun goes down that the typical village concerts begin and things really get moving. Although concerts are common to all fiestas, there is also an interesting difference; there’s no middle ground or an average type of artist who is invited to perform when it comes to these concerts. Performing musicians could be national celebrities who are trying to re-launch their careers, groups experiencing a slow start, or budding artists looking to take advantage of any and all opportunities to get their names out there, whether by performing in the village square, in the biggest venue in the area or even in the town’s bullring.

Speaking of bulls, bull-fighting celebrations can be found as part of nearly all of Spain’s village fiestas.  Although there has been a decline in the activity, some of the most well known fiestas, such as the festival of San Fermin continue to attract thousands of tourists every year.

Fairs with rides, inflatable attractions and live music have begun to rival animal activities, especially in small villages, where the fiestas are enjoyed the most. The typical foam party, fried dough with chocolate (even though in some towns it can reach 100º or more) or, if the place allows for it, a fiesta in the municipality’s public pools with both the latest pop music and music from 30 years ago, never fail.

One of the common elements at all Spanish village fiestas is the music. To the aforementioned concerts, we have to add cover bands of all kinds, funky duos, mobile discos and orchestras of all kinds, able to combine the famous paso doble with the classic “The Ketchup Song” (“Aserejé”) or a pop hit by David Bisbal, which moves the masses to dance to songs they wouldn’t ever dare to on any other occasion; something that can only happen at Spanish village fiestas.