From the end of Winter and during all of Spring, many different traditional, folkloric and religious Fiestas are celebrated all over Spain that are a pleasure for the eye and the soul. Here is a selection of the most interesting traditional Fiestas in Spain in 2018.
The best traditional Fiestas in Spain during Winter-Spring 2018:
Carnaval (several cities): 3 to 18 February, 2018
Semana Santa processions (several cities): 25 March to 1 April, 2018
Seville April Fair: 15 to 22 April, 2018
Jerez de la Frontera Horse Fair: 5 to 12 May, 2018
El Rocío Pilgrimage (Cadiz): 19 to 22 June, 2018
Corpus Cristi (Toledo): 31 May, 2018
The folkloric Fiesta season in Spain starts before the end of winter with Carnaval (3 to 18 February, 2018). Despite it being a Catholic nation, there are few towns in Spain that organize large-scale celebrations for this festivity. The most famous Carnavals take place in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands) and in Cadiz. On the other side of the country on the north coast, there are also interested Carnaval celebrations in Aviles (Asturias) and in Santoña (Cantabria). The picturesque village of Villanueva de la Vera (Extremadura) has its own curious traditional of the Peropalo, also much worth a visit.
Houses for enjoying the Cadiz Carnival 2018 (8 to 18 February):
The Cadiz locals are truly passionate about this celebration, and go to great length designing their costumes, some of which are real works of art. For more info: Carnaval de Cadiz
Houses to enjoy the Avilés Carnaval (Asturias) 2018 (7 to 14 February):
Also called the Antroxu festivity, the Avilés Carnaval consists of a series of activities that fill the town with celebrations for a whole week. The Antroxu is directed by the Kings of Goxu and La Faba, honourable roles which are passed on each year to a new Prince and future King. More info: Carnaval de Avilés
Houses to enjoy the Santoña Carnaval (Cantabria) 2018 (3 to 17 February):
The Santoña Carnaval was declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest by the Spanish state, and is famous for its street bands, parades and its special “burrial of the sea bream” instead of the “burrial of the sardine” that is traditional in Spanish Carnaval celebrations. Other activities include the Sea Bottom Trial, and the Villager Day. More info: Carnaval de Santoña
Houses to enjoy the Peropalo in Villanueva de la Vera (Extremadura) 2018 (10 to 13 February)
Peropalo is the name of a life-size puppet around which the Carnaval celebration evolves in the beautiful Extremadura village of Villanueva de la Vera. The celebrations consist of a series of rituals that are organized around this character during 3 days, from its creation to its death. More info: Fiesta de El Peropalo
During the days before the continental Easter weekend, in the streets of all cities in Spain majestic Semana Santa processions take place. In a tradition dating from the 17th Century and with clear aesthetic references to the times of the Inquisition, the fastidious statues of Christs and Madonnas or crosses are carried on the shoulders of the local church community in penitence and accompanied by the drumming and sometimes by the music of the church bands. The most famous processions take place in Seville, where locals experience the passing of their favorite saints with deep fervour and true passion. It is also the one that attracts most tourists. But there are other cities in Spain with impressive Semana Santa processions, such as is the case in Malaga, Granada, Caceres, Palencia, Avila, and Viveiro (Galicia).
Houses for enjoying the Seville Semana Santa 2018 (25 March to 1 April):
Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, 60 church brotherhoods form processions towards the city’s cathedral, while 11 church brotherhoods make their processions two days before, on “Friday of Pain” and “Passion Saturday”. More info: Semana Santa de Sevilla 2018
Houses for enjoying the Malaga Semana Santa 2018 (25 March to 1 April):
Also declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest, the Malaga Semana Santa is a great religious, social and cultural event in the Andalusian tradition. More info: Semana Santa de Málaga 2018
Houses for enjoying the Granada Semana Santa 2018 (March 25 to 1 April):
The Granada Semana Santa represents the Passion of Christ in a series of Statues that are carried through the city’s streets and through the Alhambra grounds, accompanied by penitents and the devout. It was also declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest. More info: Semana Santa de Granada 2018
Houses to enjoy the Caceres Semana Santa 2018 (25 March to 1 April):
The Caceres Semana Santa, also declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest, lasts for 9 days (from Passion Saturday to Easter Sunday). Its processions are in the Castilian tradition, meaning that the statues are carried on the shoulders, and take place mostly in the beautiful historical center of Caceres, which is a Unesco World Heritage site. More info: Semana Santa de Cáceres 2018
Houses for enjoying the Palencia Semana Santa 2018 (25 March to 1 April):
Semana Santa is the most important yearly celebration in Palencia and stands out for its elegance, silence, sobriety and solemnity. It has also been declared a festivity of International Tourst Interest. More info: Semana Santa de Palencia 2017
Houses to enjoy the Avila Semana Santa 2018 (March 25 to 1 April):
The Avila Semana Santa, also declared a festivity of International Tourist Interest, forms a great showcase of art and wealth as expressed in the numerous processiones making their way through the streets of the medieval walled city. With a total of 15 processions, it is one of the most beautiful Semana Santa celebrations of Castile. More info: Semana Santa de Ávila 2018
Houses to enjoy the Viveiro Semana Santa 2018 (25 March to 1 April):
As a reflection of its regional importance, the Viveiro Semana Santa has also been declared a festivity of International Tourist Interest. It stands out for the great artistic value of its statues and its silverwork, as well as for its sobre and austere nature, in the tradition of the Castilian Semana Santa celebrations.
The April Fair of Seville (Feria de Abril), Seville’s most lively local festivity, centers around the stalls and attractions that are set up on an explanade in Los Remedios quarter. The stalls are run by private groups that use them to gather friends, offer food, song and dance. Parallel to the Fair is a programme of bull fights on the Maestranza bull ring. At the time of year when orange trees are blossoming everywhere, the city fills with joy, music, parading locals in traditional colourful flamenco outfits, proud white Andalusian horses and horse carriages, all of which are pure pleasure for the eye and the soul.
Houses to enjoy the Seville April Fair 2018 (15 to 22 April):
The Jerez Horse Fair is held a week after the Seville April Fair and before the El Rocío pilgrimage. During the week of festivities, the city is filled with horsemen on beautiful Andalusian horses, which as before are still for sale. In daytime during the whole week, the streets of Jerez are all parades of horses and horse carriages, with the local population dressing up in their most colourful traditional outfits. More info: Feria del Caballo de Jerez 2018
The El Rocío pilgrimage is one of the most famous and most visited pilgrimages in Spain. This popular catholic tradition in adoration of the local Virgin of El Rocío consists of a voyage on foot, on horseback or in carts through the National Park of Doñana to the unpaved hamlet of El Rocío on the edge of the National Park. Here, an immense multitude of worshippers arrive at the doors of the chapel that holds the statue of the Virgin, and on the night from Sunday to Monday of Pentecost perform an act popularly referred to as “jumping the gate”. Afterwards, the locals bring out in procession the statue refered to as the “White Dove” (Blanca Paloma), and carry it through the hamlet on their shoulders. At night, the hamlet fills with food, drink, song and dance. More info: El Rocio 2018
Houses to enjoy the Jerez Horse Fair and the El Rocío Pilgrimage 2018:
The Corpus Christi processions in Toledo are part of a very old tradition that is still upheld year after year in this beautiful town. For their most important yearly celebration, the locals decorate the monumental town’s streets with carpets, flowers and fresh thyme. Around this festivity, for a whole week a great number of cultural events and concerts are organized. More info: Corpus Cristo de Toledo 2018
Houses to enjoy Corpus Christi 2018 in Toledo (31 May):