We’re continuing our journey through the most peculiar festivals that took part in Spain with a second article. This time I’m gonna show you 8 festivals out of the ordinary, bizarre, but worth seeing.
Let’s dive into the crazy stuff I prepared for you!
1.El Cipotegato (Tarazona, Zaragoza)
El Cipotegato is a character disguised as a harlequin in red, green and yellow colours. (There are many festivals in Spain with disguised characters in the center of it.) He must cross more than 1 km from the town hall to the most important square of the town through a crowd of people who throw tomatoes at him. If he comes out victorious, it will be raised to the sculpture built in his honor at the square. The election of the Cipotegato of each year is by lottery.
The feast is celebrated each year on August 27.
2.Els Castellers (Vilafranca del Penedés, Barcelona)
A castell is a human tower of different heights originating in the 18th century (1770). They were built after a dance that has already disappeared. The participants can be of all ages, starting from 5-6 years old.
This tradition is extended throughout a great part of the Catalan territory. There are multiple groups of castellers called collas that train all year round. It is one of the festivals that was declared Intangible Heritage by UNESCO in 2010.
3.Fiesta de los Indianos (La Palma, Canary Islands)
It is more like a carnival party and it represents a characterization of the people from Canary Islands that emigrated to Cuba in search for wealth and found it. The carnival is characterized by the continuous release of talcum powder creating a dense white column.
It is played Cuban music and one of the most important moments of the fair it’s the arrival at the harbor of La Palma of the Negra Tomasa (song). This carnival is made up of several festivals throughout several days in February and the celebration began in the 19th Century.
4.La Tamborrada (Hellín, Albacete)
A tamborrada is a gathering of drummers to play at the same time. Many tamborradas (drum-playing) festivals are part of the Catholic celebrations of Holy Week and have a special significance depending on the places, days and moments.
The one of Hellín has been declared of International Tourist Interest. It can accumulate up to 30.000 people in Holy Wednesday and Holy Friday. The most touching moment is the sound of the drums after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
5.Descenso del río Sella (Ribadesella, Asturias)
The Descent of River Sella it’s an international event that takes place in Asturias around the first weekend of August. It is a four day festival which has as its central point the 20 km canoe descent competition on the Sella River, both professionally and amateur types. Like at most festivals in Asturias, most of the visitors are there just to party and party they do!
Crowds of people gather by the shore to watch the professional competition and sing the anthem of Asturias (known in part by many Spaniards). There are camping and recreational activities during the days of the festivities.
6.Patios de Córdoba (Córdoba, Andalucía)
Courtyard Festival it’s a fest that has been celebrated in the month of May since 1921. Different neighbours with courtyard houses can participate in two categories: old courtyards and modern courtyards. These patios are open for the visit of the general public. The admission is free. A small donation is appreciated, but not required.
In recent years, up to 50 houses have participated in this competition. The event was declared Intangible Heritage by UNESCO in 2012.
7.Semana Medieval (Estella, Navarra)
Medieval Week it’s celebrated in the middle of July in this town in northern Spain. It is a long-standing festivity that the whole town supports actively. People in medieval dresses promenade through the streets and markets.
After the opening speech read by the Navarrese king himself, a very varied program of events begins: tastings of medieval recipes, minstrel performances, knights fights, artisanal skills, continuous street performances, falconry shows, concerts, medieval dinners, markets and much more.
8. Lanzamiento de hueso de oliva (Cieza, Murcia)
During the local festivals in August, in this Murcian town, it is held a very hilarious contest that consists of sending an olive seed (hueso de oliva) as far as possible by spitting it. 25 metres is the record of this competition and it’s held by a Civil Guard of this town, achieved in 2010.
Curiosity: the current number 2 of the Popular Party in the Spanish Parliament, the engineer Teodoro García Egea, and a native of Cieza, was world champion at this contest in 2008.
Well, these are 15 of the most interesting festivals of Spain in my opinion, but there are many more to discover. You should visit Spain at least once in a lifetime, you’ll sure not regret it! And if you love to travel the world, you can read about this impressive Romanian tourist attractions worth visiting! 🙂