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Traditional Festivals

Traditional Festivals

Every spring Córdoba bursts into bloom with special festivities for the month of May. Starting off with a parade known as the “Battle of the Flowers”, the city officially launches into its spring celebrations with the May Crosses festival usually taking place during the first week of the month, followed by the Patio Contests that can easily continue well past the middle of the month.

The “Romería Nacional de los Gitanos”, or National Gypsy Pilgrimage” traditionally takes place the third Sunday in June and attracts not only gypsies, but also “gachos” (non-gypsies). In fact, this event which was founded in 1969 by Jose Córdoba Reyes, draws participants from across Andalucia.

Religious Virgins are hugely popular in Andalucia; they are normally handcrafted from wood and porcelain and spend 99.9 per cent of the year in glass-covered alcoves at the local church. Most are dusted down and placed on flower-decked thrones at Easter-time when they are lovingly and solemnly borne through the streets. The Virgen del Carmen, however, has her own special day.

Ronda is an ancient mountain town of scenic vistas, omantic plazas, and historic treasures. Once a year, Ronda also sees a return to tradition with its annual Feria Goyesca. A fairly recent festival, at least in Andalucian terms, it has become an event that has captured the imagination of Spain with its traditional dress, important bullfights and its ageless glamour.

In Andalucia, there's a party every day - whether it's to celebrate a harvest (mostly in the autumn - grapes, olives, chestnuts, mushrooms) - a saint's day, or the town's own annual feria, when every town and village puts on a show, with casetas, sherry and dancing. Over 3,000 fiestas are celebrated every year in Andalucia, including fairs, pilgrimages, carnivals, mock battles between Moors and Christians.

Every year the beaches of Sanlucar de Barrameda in the province of Cádiz come alive with the pounding of hooves as the famous horse races take over the coast. Traditionally, the races take place the second and fourth weeks of August from Friday to Sunday. The schedule also depends on the tide times so they might come foward a week.

Certain festivals seem to summarise life in Spain, with its love of having a good time in the company of friends and loved ones. The Night of San Juan is definitely one of these events. It is a celebration that is usually held on the beach with roaring bonfires, drink, food, and friends. It is a memorable, almost surreal scene and one that needs to be experienced.

This festival is more popular in the east of Andalucia in the mainly provinces of Granada and Almeria, It takes place on different many days through out the year depending on the locality.

The annual Malaga city fair in August is an exuberant week-long street party with plenty of flamenco and 'fino' (sherry). The fair commemorates the re-conquest of the city by Isabella and Ferdinand in 1487 and traditionally runs for a week from Saturday to Sunday (inclusive) over the third week in August.

The May Crosses Festival (Cruces de Mayo) is celebrated in many parts of the world, especially in Latin America and Spain. And in Spain, the festival holds special importance in many parts of Andalucia, but especially Córdoba, which has the most famous celebration.

Corpus Christi is the Catholic holiday in honour of the presence of the body of Christ in the holy water. It is celebrated throughout Spain and is held in either May or June depending on when Easter occurs.

Christmas brings great cheer across Spain as families prepare to spend the Season together over one elaborate meal after another. Every year Andalucia.com brings you a special look at Christmas and this year it no different.

Read on to discover all the great festivals and holidays of the Spanish Christmas season in addition to Spanish Christmas recipes and ideas for tracking down gifts “Made in Spain” and Andalucia-based charities that will welcome your goodwill at this time of year – and throughout the year as well!

The Festival de la Cereza usually thakes place on the third Saturday in June. It is a well-organised event with several stalls set up in the town’s “polideportivo” sports centre where you can buy large flats of top quality local cherries at rock bottom prices. But that’s not all!

December 28th, right smack in the middle of the Spanish Christmas season, we have the annual Verdiales competitions taking place right outside Málaga City. The festival will bring together competing “pandas” as they are known. These are groups that practice one of three different forms of Verdiales singing accompanied by their traditional folk dance and unforgettable costumes.