Spanish Ferias
Students' Corner

There are no two ways about it, the Spanish love to party and celebrate. Birthdays, christmas, easter, their saints day and of course there are the ferias and festivals which can be found up and down the country on any given day for a wealth of different reasons.

Most Famous Fiestas

Some of the most famous and important fiestas include: Carnaval where the biggest celebrations are found in Tenerife and Cadiz; las fallas the figure burning festival in Valencia, the feria de abril which is Sevilla's big annual party, Semana Santa (easter) which again is most impressive in Sevilla, although it is celebrated in every town and village across Spanish soils with a solemn procession; San Juan which sees river banks and particularly the beaches fill up on the night of the summer equinox with a big beach party, tapas, drinking, merriment and many partygoers spending the night asleep on the sands; and of course Pamplona's San Fermines running of the bulls, not to mention other festivals whose fame has spread.

Most ferias tend to be week-long affairs. Towns in Spain pay homage to their patron saint by way of a feria too. Expect eating, drinking, dancing and merriment starting from lunchtime and continuing through until daybreak the next morning.

In addition to the fun, there is also a serious side to most festivals as many do have religious origins and you will see parades and ceremonies in the mornings, before the merriment commences.

Semana Santa

As a Catholic country, Easter or Semana Santa as it is known in Spain is the most important fiesta in the calendar, despite being unique in its religious solemnity. Throughout the week there are various parades of splendor, remembering Christ and his sacrifice for mankind.

The Spanish celebration of holy week dates back centuries with processions providing a way for the church to educate the townfolk of the different stories.

Andalucia and in particular Sevilla, has the most elaborate processions, but those taking place in other cities will take your breath away with the silence as brotherhoods pass with their resplendent floats and the virgin Mary.

The Recinto Ferial

Almost every town in Spain has a designated recinto ferial or fairground area where the festivities take place and of course the fairground itself staged with rides, games and fun to be had by all the family.

There are casetas where food and drink is served, very often to the tune of live music and the largest casetas are the ones where the outdoor disco's are held each night.

Many of the largest ferias command performances by some of Spain's top musicians, bands and performers and in most cases, there is no entry charge to see the live show.

Other Ferias

In the Canary Islands, the fair is a different type of affair. Locals will head to the town square for the night where there is live music into the night, accompanied by eating and drinking until the evening winds itself up. It is said that in Tenerife, there is a fair in a different town every day of the year, so you are never more than a few hours from another fiesta.

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