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Spain’s festivals and celebrations.

¡Bienvenidos todos!

I’m now coming to the end of my incredible year abroad experience here in Spain and I’m really going to miss it. It’s just such a different lifestyle here compared to what I’m used to at home in the UK but in the best way. Something I will miss is getting involved with the many festivals and celebrations that Spain has to offer.

Here are three of the main ones:

The Falles.

This is a Valencian celebration that commemorates Saint Joseph (San José) and is an integral part of a Valencian culture. Every year, the Falles takes place between the 15th– 19th March. This is a rather unique celebration because it involves the burning of constructions like dolls and puppets.

The entire Valencian community and their neighbourhood come together to create groups called the “Casal faller”. Each one of these neighbourhood groups creates their own “falla” which is essentially a construction consisting of a mounted doll or puppet (ninots in/ Valencian) which is then filled with firecrackers. These “falles” usually follow a theme and at the very end of the celebration on the last day, every single one of the falles is burnt.

Another interesting aspect of las Falles is “La Mascletà” which is a daily event during the festival. This involves a load of extravagant firework displays. This normally happens in the afternoon and a similar event also happens in the evening.

 

La Tomatina.

Este es el festival más extraño en esta lista, ¡pero es el más maravilloso! Es una celebración muy famosa en España ¡y es una celebración que es todo sobre los tomates! Esta celebración suele tener lugar el último miércoles de agosto en la localidad valenciana de Buñol. Los participantes de este evento se lanzan tomates unos a otros y esto normalmente dura más o menos una hora. Aparentemente esta tradición comenzó en 1945 y desde entonces, este festival ha crecido masivamente hasta el punto de que en los últimos años, sólo puede unirse a La Tomatina si se compra un boleto.

Cada año, se utilizan muchos tomates, de hecho el año pasado se utilizaron 150 toneladas de tomates maduros en el festival.

Esta es una lista de las reglas oficiales de la Tomatina:

  • Es ilegal traer cualquier tipo de botellas u otros objetos que puedan causar un accidente.
  • No debe rasgar camisetas.
  • Los tomates deben ser triturados antes de lanzarlos para que no hagan daño a nadie.
  • Hay que tener cuidado de evitar los camiones que transportan los tomates.
  • Tan pronto como oigas el segundo petardo debes dejar de tirar tomates.

 

Semana Santa.

I was lucky enough to be in Málaga with my family during Semana Santa, and in Spain they go all out for Holy Week. Semana Santa is a Catholic celebration and is the name given to the week that leads up to Easter Sunday and it is a very busy time. It was so lovely to see the entire community of Málaga come together for the parades and the processions; the streets were crowded and the parades went on all day and throughout the night. Brass music and drumming flooded the streets of the city and it was almost impossible to get through the sea of people that came out to see the processions. We saw a load of these processions every day we were out in Malaga; the different churches of the city came together to put on different parades at different times while fragrant incense filled the air. There were many adults and children marching in the processions in the middle of the streets who were followed by a group of people carrying huge heavy decorative floats (tronos) which precede the marching band behind them. I can’t tell you how many mornings I woke up to the sound of trumpets and drums! Parades and celebrations happen in towns and cities all around Spain.

It was a huge event and everyone was very excited about it and happy to be there, it was a great atmosphere.

So many families with their children got involved and I noticed so many children making wax balls from the gathered wax that they all collected from the people carrying huge candles. It was heartwarming to see so many families take part in a celebration like this.

There was even a custom that on Good Friday, a prisoner would be set free for the day. I’m not so sure I’m a big fan of this tradition!

Muchas gracias por leer este blog y ¡hasta la próxima!

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