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Tenerife's Carnival


The Festival:
Tenerife is known for its year-round fiestas and parties, with a comprehensive calendar of events. Amongst the many festivals which take place throughout the year, Tenerife's February carnivals are particularly popular and include parades of decorated floats and an array of competitions.



The capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife stages Europe’s largest carnival and the world’s second biggest outside Brazil. . Over the years, much about Tenerife's Carnaval has changed; the traditional masks have virtually disappeared and costumes have become more elaborate, covering a wider spectrum of disguises and in some cases, not covering very much at all.


The Tenerife Carnival essentially boils down to having fun, throwing out your inhibitions and becoming what - on a normal basis - you aren't; costumes, masks, erotic themes and cross-dressing, for example, compose a huge part of what makes Carnival such a spectacle. It's about enjoying the satirical approach - through costumes, songs and skits - to popular characters, public figures, situations and events in pure, light-hearted fun. It's about partaking in the excess of everything - food, drink, noise, partying, fun - and, above all, it's about fun and entertainment. However, the election of Carnaval Queens still heralds the start of the festivities and the Opening Parade sees them, their Maids of Honour and entourages, being driven through the main streets of Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz accompanied by the traditional ‘murgas’ in clown costume and assorted groups and individuals in fancy dress.
 
The ‘Burial of the Sardine’ used to denote the demise of Carnaval but nowadays marks the half way point on Ash Wednesday; hordes of weeping ‘widows’ follow a funeral cortège for a giant papier mâché sardine down to the harbour where the ‘corpse’ is set alight amidst an extravaganza of fireworks and a cacophony of banshee wailing.
 
Carnaval origins



Born of the Catholic practice of using up meat and dairy products before the advent of abstemious Lent, Carnaval arrived in Tenerife with the conquistadores at the end of the 15th century. When it was sent underground by a Franco ban, and frowned upon by the Church as blasphemous, people started wearing hoods or masks and cross-dressing, in order to conceal their identities. Today Carnaval is just an excuse for an almighty blow-out before Lent and the cross dressing has simply become de rigueur.





The origin of the word ‘carnival’ means ‘farewell to meat’, or ‘to remove meat’ because Lent is a time in which meats, and fatty and rich foods should not be consumed. The Carnival was invented as a way to get together with friends and neighbours and have a massive feast in which all these disallowed foods were consumed so that they were used up before Lent.


Where and When:
Election of Puerto de la Cruz Carnaval Queen:
3 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz Opening Parade:
5 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz Burial of the Sardine:
9 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz 'Put on Your High Heels' Drag Marathon:
11 March 2011
 Puerto de la Cruz Closing Parade:
12 March 2011


Video:

 






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4

Question Time!!!



Hi all!

After describing and selecting some of the most Crazy Festivals of Spain, I want you to give me an opinion about it. I want to find out which of the festivals that I have described have caused more impact on you as well as to know if you would go to any of those festivals. One of my readers suggested to create a ranking with the festivals of my blog and that is the beggining of it! In the 2 first questions you can multiple choice, so there is not only one festival you can choose.
Dont worry, this poll does not mean the end of the blog!! I will keep updating my blog regurlarly and I will include some other festivals as well as a calendar and a map on the main page to give a picture about where and when those festivals are.
So here it is the poll! Thank you so much for your collaboration!

Which one is the festival that you have found more interesting?
La Tomatina / The Tomato fight
Human Towers
Bull Running San Fermin
Las Fallas
Calanda 24h Drumming
Walking over the Fire
The Wine Battle of Haro
El Cipotegato
Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling



  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


To which festival would you definately go?
The Tomato Fight
Human Towers
Bull Running: San Fermin
Las Fallas
Calanda 24h Drumming
Walking over the Fire
The Wine Battle of Haro
El Cipotegato
Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling


  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Has this blog and its festivals changed your opinion about Spain?
Yes
No
Definately, you spaniards are crazy
Not much, I knew quite a lot of those festivals


  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Have you enjoyed reading this blog so far?
Yes
No

  
Free polls from Pollhost.com
Read more
7

Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling



The Festival:
In Sabucedo, a very small town of Pontevedra in Galizian Country where men and recently women realices the traditional “Rapa das Bestas”.
“A Rapa das Bestas” consist in go where the wild horses are into the mountains that sorrounds the town and made they to come back to the town. When the horses are in place, the participants take them into “El Curro”, a stone anfitheatre where the locals cut they hair and clean them from bugs and parasites, also some of horses are marked and registered. “La Besta” is the original wild horse of the mountains of Sabucedo for decades, beeing documentated in a lot of ancient documents as the horses who rided the celtics who lived in this area thousand of years ago.






The History:
In old days horse’s hair was used to make ropes and strings, now is apresent for some of the assistants. During those days Sabucedo have a 4 days party, with typical food and music, concerts and a lot of fun!
When “A Rapa” finished the horses are setting free with the other horses into the mountain waiting maybe for the next year.

Video:





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2

El Cipotegato


The Festival:
Tarazona celebrates its most important festivities in honour of San Atilano in the days following 27th August.
The festivities begin with the appearance of a curious character called “El Cipotegato”.
This character dresses as a harlequin with green, red and yellow diamonds and runs out of the town hall under a shower of tomatoes thrown by the other participants. When he reaches a bronze statue in the main square the festivity officially begins.

The History:
The Cipotegato derives from a burlesque harlequin-type character of the XVIIth century. There is a long list of people who would like to wear the “Cipotegato” costume and names are drawn to decide who it will be.

The name of the person chosen is kept secret until the race has finished. “El Cipotegato” is related to the clowns who in olden days accompanied the Corpus procession carrying a whip to ward off unruly spectators.
The festivity has been declared of special interest for tourists in Aragon.

Where and When:

On the day of St. Atilano, 27th of August every year
Tarazona is 80km from Zaragoza. See the map

Video:


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3

The Wine Battle of Haro


The Festival:
Haro Wine Festival is a festival in the town of Haro in the La Rioja region of northern Spain. It is held every year in the summer on the 29th of June and involves wine drinking competitions and contests and a Batalla de Vino (Battle of Wine)
Inhabitants and tourist celebrate San Pedro's day with the infamous Batalla del Vino on the Riscos de Bilibio hilltop. Tens of thousands of litres of the tasty local Riojan Wine are used as ammunition.
At 9 o´clock in the morning a procession takes place in the streets of the town. At the head is the mayor on horseback with a banner and following him are the citizens of Haro, all dressed in white with red scarfs. They are carrying jugs, bottles, carboys and what ever you can fill with wine. Al ages are participating but the youngsters dominate. They walk or drive to a mountain with a chapel short distances away, where a mass is held.
After the mass "hell" breaks out... Everybody sprinkles wine on each other. The carriers of some sprinkle equipment literally heaps wine on their prey, but that is considered cheating. The tradition says to use botas, the bottles made of leather.
Soon all people have turned pinkish, their hair hangs down and their shoes are soaked. But everybody looks very happy, especially they who are making bonfires and arranging with wine and tapas.

History:
A land dispute with neighbouring town Miranda De Ebro regarding the mountains between them - Montes Obarenes. The dispute dates back to the 10th century. The history of the battle of the wine goes back to 1906.

Rules:
There are no apparent rules, teams, winners or losers. The aim is simple: survival of the fittest and having so much fun!





Where, when and how to get there:
The battle of the wine is held every year on the 29th of June at 9 o´clock in the morning at the Riojan village of Haro.
Haro is located in La Rioja region, about 48km northwest of Logroño. Vitoria is the nearest airport but Haro is well connected with bus with the main Spanish cities.

Video:


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2

Walking over the Fire

The festival:
Each year on 23 June, Midsummer night's eve, this ritual takes place in the town of San Pedro Manrique, in Soria. It consists of crossing the live coals of a meticulously prepared bonfire barefoot. The bonfire is lit at 9:00 at night with 2,000 kilos of oak wood, which burns easily and does not form lumps. At around 11:30, the carpet-like path of red-hot coals is prepared by smoothing them with poles called 'hoguneros'. Young men dance around the fire, and exactly at midnight everything is ready to begin the walk across the carpet. Ten to twelve young men are chosen to do this, and they generally carry someone on their shoulders, since the extra weight avoids combustion. They try to ensure that the coals contain no ashes or hard objects; thanks to these precautions they never get burned.
The brave fire walkers hop barefoot across red-hot coals, without even the slightest sign of burns. The town doesn't attribute the wonders of their unblemished feet to just any old mystical or pagan forces. The town's patron saint, La Virgen de La Peña (the Virgin of Sorrows), is held responsible for this paranormal phenomena.




History:

Some people would say that is a Celtic Rite others a purification rite and others a sun and fire-worship but if you ask to one of the "fire walkers" (or pasadores) about the origin of the fesival, they will simply answer: “It has always been like this” Some people just follow their father’s or grandfather's steps, others just do it as a promise to the Virgen de la Peña, some just do it to prove themselves that they can do it... there are a lot of reasons, but for everyboy in this town the Paso del Fuego is something that belongs to their own identity.


Where and When:
Each year on the midnight of the 23rd to the 24th this rite is held in the amphitheater of the chapel of Virgen de la Peña (Virgin of the Rock) in San Pedro Manrique in the province of Soria. From 2,000 to 4,000 people follow this amazing rite

More Info:

San Pedro Manrique Web site (google translated)

Video:



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1

Calanda 24h Drumming


The Festival:

Once every year, more than one thousand inhabitants of the Spanish village Calanda in the province of Aragon gather around the local church, take up their drums, form bands spontaneously, and start producing more or less arbitrary rhythms. This ritual jamming takes off at noon on Good Friday and ends exactly one day later on Easter Saturday.
For twenty four hours and without pauses or orchestrated compositions, bands of drummers dwell through the streets of Calanda. When one band meets another band, they start duelling, until all drummers find themselves in agreement with a certain rhythm. After their encounter and mutual jamming, the bands move on and prepare themselves for the next battle.

The history:

This tradition, that has been celebrated during Holy Week in Calanda since the middle of the 19th century, was introduced to the world by the town's famous son, the world-renowned film director, Luis Buñuel.

Rules:

Everyone and anyone can participate in "la rompida de la hora" in Calanda. The color is limited to ornamental purple robes and carbines.
Elderly men and women, youth and children of all ages interpret the different rhythms when beating the drums.

Where and When:

"La rompida de la hora" is staged every year on Good Friday and starts at 12 in the afternoon and it last 24h until 12 in the afternoon of the following day.




The village of Calanda in Teruel province, is situated in the center of the region of Aragon. It is easy to get there by car or bus from Zaragoza. Zaragoza is well connected by airport and bus with the main Spanish cities.



More Info:
Calanda web site (google translated)

Videos:



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11

Las Fallas



The Festival
In the middle of the Mediterranean coast, Valencia city, celebrates each year the final days of the winter and the arrival of spring with spectacular fires and pyrotechnics. From March 15 to 19 (the feast of Saint Joseph, day of the father in the whole country), Valencia is given over to a carnival of bonfires, fiesta, fireworks and a healthy dose of satire known as Las Fallas, the fires.
Las Fallas is one of the most incredible festivals in a country where incredible festivals are the norm rather than the exception. But, however prepared for Las Fallas you think you are, you will still be surprised by the sheer craziness of it all.
Las Fallas literally means "the fires" in Valencian. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”), which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-machè and plaster statues. Each one in some way satirises a political figure, or a soap star, or more exotic creatures from the movies, TV, sports idols, or simply imagination. Some of them are grotesque, others playful and charming. The labor intensive ninots, often costing up to £40,000, are crafted by neighborhood organizations and take almost the entire year to construct. Many ninots are several stories tall and need to be moved into their final location of over 350 key intersections and parks around the city with the aid of lorries on the day of la plantà (the rising).

Every day at 2pm firecrackers rip through the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in an noisy event called la Mascletá. This concert of gunpowder is very popular and involves different neighbourhood groups competing for the most impressive volley, ending with the terremoto, (literally means "earthquake") as hundreds of masclets exploting simultaneously. 

Celebrations draw to an end with a fabulous firework display in the Paseo de la Alameda, called the Nit del Foc (literally "The Night of Fire"), on March 18. All Fallas burn all over the city the following night in a tremendous spectacle of fire and joy. Valencia is at that moment like Nero´s Rome, a city in flames. That’s why Valencians call this the best firework fiesta in the world! 

The History:
Historians say that the origins of the festival go back to the time when carpenters cleared out their workshops and talleres at the end of winter, throwing out odds and ends of wood and old candles and lighting them on the street the day of Saint Joseph.

Getting there:
Valencia is located at the mid point of the Spanish east Mediterranean coast, 350 kms east of Madrid and 350 kms south of Barcelona. Valencia has an international airport very well communicated with other main airports in Spain and european cities.


Video: 
La nit del foc (the fire night)

Mascleta (earthquake fireworks):





More Info:



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3

Bull Running: San Fermin


The Festival:
The Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, is often described as a nine-day party of “controlled chaos“. From the 6th of July to the 14th of July the Festival of San Fermin is a constant celebration with lots of good food and plenty of drinking. As one might imagine there is a noticeable amount of drunkenness. However, for the amount of people and the amount of heavy drinking that goes on, San Fermin is remarkably safe and peaceful.
The Pamplona Bull Run is one of the most chaotic, insane experiences anyone could possibly have.

The Bull Run
The Pamplona bull run takes place at 8am every morning from 7th to 14th July. Runners must be in the running area by 7.30am. The actual run stretches from the corral at Santo Domingo where the bulls are kept, to the bullring where they will fight that same afternoon. The length of the run is 825 metres and the average time of the run from start to finish is about three minutes. The streets through the old town which make up the bull run are walled off so the bulls can't escape. Each day six fighting bulls run the route as well as two herds of bullocks.

The tension builds as the release of the bulls approaches and at 8am on the dot a rocket is fired to confirm that the gate has been opened at the Santo Domingo corral. Runners dressed in white with a red hankerchief around their necks pray to San Fermin then a second rocket announces that the bulls have left. The bulls and the runners then proceed along the route.

The History:
The daily Bull Run forms an important part of the festivities, but San Fermin festival is actually a week long party where the people of Pamplona pay tribute to their religious patron Saint, San Fermin, through prayer, fireworks, bull fights and lots and lots of partying.
Celebrated every year from 6-14 July, for over five hundred years, ever since the 14th Century, San Fermin forms an important part of the culture of Pamplona and is one of Spain’s longest running festivals.
The Bull Run itself was not part of the original religious festival. Locals and tradition says that it was added because San Fermin met his death at the hands of angry bulls who mauled and dragged him through the streets of the old town. But regardless of why it was added to the religous tradition, the Bull Run is now a vital part of the San Fermin Festival and has developed over the years to become a world famous event.

Rules:
The Pamplona Bull Run is one of the most dangerous public festivals in the world. In order to ensure that the Run goes off successfully and to avoid danger the Pamplona Town Council advises that the spectators and runners bear in mind certain minimal rules which guarantee the normal running of the Bull Run.
For this reason it is expressly forbidden:

  • To admit anyone under the age of 18 into the course as minors are totally prohibited from running or participating.
  • To go over the police barriers which the authorities see fit to erect.
  • To place oneself in the zones and areas of the itinerary which are expressly indicated by the agents of the authorities.
  • To hide oneself before the release of the bulls in corners, dead angles or doorways of houses or establishments located throughout the length of the course.
  • To leave open the doors of the houses along the course, the owners or tenants of the said property being responsible for this.
  • To enter into the route in a state of drunkenness, under the effects of drugs or in any inappropriate state.
  • To carry objects which may impede the correct running of the Bull Run.
  • To wear clothes or shoes which are not appropriate for the run.
  • Call the animals or distract them in any way and for whatever reason in the course or during the rounding up in the Bull Ring.
  • To stop in the Bull Run or station oneself on the walls or barriers or in the doorways in such a way as to impede the run or the defence of the runners.
  • To grab onto, harass or mistreat the animals or obstruct their exit enclosure by any action during the amateur bullfight.
  • To take photographs from the streets, walls or barriers without due authorisation.
  • Any other action which may impede the normal running of the Bull Run.
Getting There: 
The nearest international airport is Bilbao, though there are no connecting flights from there. Iberia connects Pamplona with Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona. Long-distance buses connect Pamplona with Bilbao, Madrid and Barcelona. Three trains a day can be taken from Madrid to Pamplona and another three from Barcelona.

More Info:
http://www.turismonavarra.es/eng/propuestas/san-fermines/

Video:



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9

Human Towers

The history:
The tradition of building human towers originated in Valls, near the city of Tarragona, in the southern part of Catalonia towards the end of the 18th century. Later it developed a following in other regions of Catalonia even Majorca and, after prohibition under Franco, currently has become very popular in parts of Spain. However, the best and most skilled castellersare still found near Tarragona.

The festival:
In Catalan the word 'castell' means castle. A 'castell' is considered a success when stages of its assembling and disassembling, can be done in complete succession. The assembly is complete once all castellers have climbed into their designated places, and the enxaneta climbs into place at the top and raises one hand with four fingers erect, in a gesture said to symbolize the stripes of the Catalan flag. The exaneta then climbs down the other side of the castell, after which the remaining levels of castellers descend in highest-to-lowest order until all have reached safety.

Aside from the people who climb to form the upper parts of the tower, others are needed to form the pinya, or bottom base of the castell, to sustain its weight. Members of the pinya (most often men) also act as a 'safety net' if the tower structure collapses, cushioning the fall of people from the upper levels.


Symbols:
Typically castellers wear white trousers, a black sash, a bandana and a coloured shirt often bearing the team's emblem. A differently coloured shirt indicates which team a participant is in. Team Castellers de Barcelona wear red shirts whileCastellers de Vilafranca wear green shirts.


Where and when:
Every summer around all the catalonia region.
            3rd of October Tarragona
            23rd- 26th September, La Mercé Festival, Barcelona

More info:
http://castellersdebarcelona.cat (catalan language)

Video:

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7

The Tomato Fight

The festival/party:

Surely the worlds' biggest food-fight: every year around 30,00 people descend on the Spanish town of Bunol (in the Valencia region of Spain) to throw more than 240,000 pounds of tomatoes at each other. 

The festival is started with a ham-on-a-stick contest where competitors raced up a pole to retrieve a smoked leg of ham. When the ham is cut down, people put on eye protection and cry for tomatoes as trucks dump the squishy produce onto the village streets. They then proceed to pelt each other with them until all have been used up.

The festival on the last Wednesday of August is called 'the Tomatina' and is basically a town-wide tomato fight. It is thought the tradition began in 1945 when a fight erupted among two young members of a carnival crowd. A vegetable stall was nearby in the town square and every started throwing tomatoes at each other. Exactly one year later, young people met at the square, but this time with their own tomatoes. Another food-fight started but was broken up by police.   In the following years this practice was banned by the authorities, but due to popular demand was given official recognition in 1959. This was only to occur if participants would respect the start and the end of tomato-throwing being announced with a banger.

Rules:

There aren't many rules to tomato warfare, but those that do exist are in the interests of safety and public decency:
l) You can throw tomatoes and tomatoes only.
2) They must be squashed before you throw them, otherwise they can cause a nasty bruise.
3) Although the locals tend to rip each other's clothing, it is officially forbidden and as a visitor, you will be expected to behave.

Getting there:

The nearest airport to Buñol is 30 miles away in Valencia. To get to the festival you'll need to take a local bus or hire a car to drive there.

It is also possible to get to Buñol by train, either from Valencia or from Madrid.

More Info: 

 Video:  



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3

Welcome!!!




Hi all!!

This is a blog dedicated to the most crazy an unknown festivals and events in Spain. Spain has a wide range of events and festivals spread on all the Spanish geography that could be seen as crazy, but they are part of the culture and tradition of the Iberian Peninsula.

In this blog I am going to show some of the most exciting and crazy festivals of Spain, and I am going to give you a small taste of them with videos, pictures and much more!!!

Once again, welcome to everyone, and I hope you enjoy with the most crazy spanish festivals.

Andres. S.
Read more

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tenerife's Carnival


The Festival:
Tenerife is known for its year-round fiestas and parties, with a comprehensive calendar of events. Amongst the many festivals which take place throughout the year, Tenerife's February carnivals are particularly popular and include parades of decorated floats and an array of competitions.



The capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife stages Europe’s largest carnival and the world’s second biggest outside Brazil. . Over the years, much about Tenerife's Carnaval has changed; the traditional masks have virtually disappeared and costumes have become more elaborate, covering a wider spectrum of disguises and in some cases, not covering very much at all.


The Tenerife Carnival essentially boils down to having fun, throwing out your inhibitions and becoming what - on a normal basis - you aren't; costumes, masks, erotic themes and cross-dressing, for example, compose a huge part of what makes Carnival such a spectacle. It's about enjoying the satirical approach - through costumes, songs and skits - to popular characters, public figures, situations and events in pure, light-hearted fun. It's about partaking in the excess of everything - food, drink, noise, partying, fun - and, above all, it's about fun and entertainment. However, the election of Carnaval Queens still heralds the start of the festivities and the Opening Parade sees them, their Maids of Honour and entourages, being driven through the main streets of Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz accompanied by the traditional ‘murgas’ in clown costume and assorted groups and individuals in fancy dress.
 
The ‘Burial of the Sardine’ used to denote the demise of Carnaval but nowadays marks the half way point on Ash Wednesday; hordes of weeping ‘widows’ follow a funeral cortège for a giant papier mâché sardine down to the harbour where the ‘corpse’ is set alight amidst an extravaganza of fireworks and a cacophony of banshee wailing.
 
Carnaval origins



Born of the Catholic practice of using up meat and dairy products before the advent of abstemious Lent, Carnaval arrived in Tenerife with the conquistadores at the end of the 15th century. When it was sent underground by a Franco ban, and frowned upon by the Church as blasphemous, people started wearing hoods or masks and cross-dressing, in order to conceal their identities. Today Carnaval is just an excuse for an almighty blow-out before Lent and the cross dressing has simply become de rigueur.





The origin of the word ‘carnival’ means ‘farewell to meat’, or ‘to remove meat’ because Lent is a time in which meats, and fatty and rich foods should not be consumed. The Carnival was invented as a way to get together with friends and neighbours and have a massive feast in which all these disallowed foods were consumed so that they were used up before Lent.


Where and When:
Election of Puerto de la Cruz Carnaval Queen:
3 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz Opening Parade:
5 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz Burial of the Sardine:
9 March 2011


Puerto de la Cruz 'Put on Your High Heels' Drag Marathon:
11 March 2011
 Puerto de la Cruz Closing Parade:
12 March 2011


Video:

 






Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Question Time!!!



Hi all!

After describing and selecting some of the most Crazy Festivals of Spain, I want you to give me an opinion about it. I want to find out which of the festivals that I have described have caused more impact on you as well as to know if you would go to any of those festivals. One of my readers suggested to create a ranking with the festivals of my blog and that is the beggining of it! In the 2 first questions you can multiple choice, so there is not only one festival you can choose.
Dont worry, this poll does not mean the end of the blog!! I will keep updating my blog regurlarly and I will include some other festivals as well as a calendar and a map on the main page to give a picture about where and when those festivals are.
So here it is the poll! Thank you so much for your collaboration!

Which one is the festival that you have found more interesting?
La Tomatina / The Tomato fight
Human Towers
Bull Running San Fermin
Las Fallas
Calanda 24h Drumming
Walking over the Fire
The Wine Battle of Haro
El Cipotegato
Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling



  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


To which festival would you definately go?
The Tomato Fight
Human Towers
Bull Running: San Fermin
Las Fallas
Calanda 24h Drumming
Walking over the Fire
The Wine Battle of Haro
El Cipotegato
Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling


  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Has this blog and its festivals changed your opinion about Spain?
Yes
No
Definately, you spaniards are crazy
Not much, I knew quite a lot of those festivals


  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Have you enjoyed reading this blog so far?
Yes
No

  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Rapa Das Bestas: Man-horse wrestling



The Festival:
In Sabucedo, a very small town of Pontevedra in Galizian Country where men and recently women realices the traditional “Rapa das Bestas”.
“A Rapa das Bestas” consist in go where the wild horses are into the mountains that sorrounds the town and made they to come back to the town. When the horses are in place, the participants take them into “El Curro”, a stone anfitheatre where the locals cut they hair and clean them from bugs and parasites, also some of horses are marked and registered. “La Besta” is the original wild horse of the mountains of Sabucedo for decades, beeing documentated in a lot of ancient documents as the horses who rided the celtics who lived in this area thousand of years ago.






The History:
In old days horse’s hair was used to make ropes and strings, now is apresent for some of the assistants. During those days Sabucedo have a 4 days party, with typical food and music, concerts and a lot of fun!
When “A Rapa” finished the horses are setting free with the other horses into the mountain waiting maybe for the next year.

Video:





El Cipotegato


The Festival:
Tarazona celebrates its most important festivities in honour of San Atilano in the days following 27th August.
The festivities begin with the appearance of a curious character called “El Cipotegato”.
This character dresses as a harlequin with green, red and yellow diamonds and runs out of the town hall under a shower of tomatoes thrown by the other participants. When he reaches a bronze statue in the main square the festivity officially begins.

The History:
The Cipotegato derives from a burlesque harlequin-type character of the XVIIth century. There is a long list of people who would like to wear the “Cipotegato” costume and names are drawn to decide who it will be.

The name of the person chosen is kept secret until the race has finished. “El Cipotegato” is related to the clowns who in olden days accompanied the Corpus procession carrying a whip to ward off unruly spectators.
The festivity has been declared of special interest for tourists in Aragon.

Where and When:

On the day of St. Atilano, 27th of August every year
Tarazona is 80km from Zaragoza. See the map

Video:


Friday, 5 November 2010

The Wine Battle of Haro


The Festival:
Haro Wine Festival is a festival in the town of Haro in the La Rioja region of northern Spain. It is held every year in the summer on the 29th of June and involves wine drinking competitions and contests and a Batalla de Vino (Battle of Wine)
Inhabitants and tourist celebrate San Pedro's day with the infamous Batalla del Vino on the Riscos de Bilibio hilltop. Tens of thousands of litres of the tasty local Riojan Wine are used as ammunition.
At 9 o´clock in the morning a procession takes place in the streets of the town. At the head is the mayor on horseback with a banner and following him are the citizens of Haro, all dressed in white with red scarfs. They are carrying jugs, bottles, carboys and what ever you can fill with wine. Al ages are participating but the youngsters dominate. They walk or drive to a mountain with a chapel short distances away, where a mass is held.
After the mass "hell" breaks out... Everybody sprinkles wine on each other. The carriers of some sprinkle equipment literally heaps wine on their prey, but that is considered cheating. The tradition says to use botas, the bottles made of leather.
Soon all people have turned pinkish, their hair hangs down and their shoes are soaked. But everybody looks very happy, especially they who are making bonfires and arranging with wine and tapas.

History:
A land dispute with neighbouring town Miranda De Ebro regarding the mountains between them - Montes Obarenes. The dispute dates back to the 10th century. The history of the battle of the wine goes back to 1906.

Rules:
There are no apparent rules, teams, winners or losers. The aim is simple: survival of the fittest and having so much fun!





Where, when and how to get there:
The battle of the wine is held every year on the 29th of June at 9 o´clock in the morning at the Riojan village of Haro.
Haro is located in La Rioja region, about 48km northwest of Logroño. Vitoria is the nearest airport but Haro is well connected with bus with the main Spanish cities.

Video:


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Walking over the Fire

The festival:
Each year on 23 June, Midsummer night's eve, this ritual takes place in the town of San Pedro Manrique, in Soria. It consists of crossing the live coals of a meticulously prepared bonfire barefoot. The bonfire is lit at 9:00 at night with 2,000 kilos of oak wood, which burns easily and does not form lumps. At around 11:30, the carpet-like path of red-hot coals is prepared by smoothing them with poles called 'hoguneros'. Young men dance around the fire, and exactly at midnight everything is ready to begin the walk across the carpet. Ten to twelve young men are chosen to do this, and they generally carry someone on their shoulders, since the extra weight avoids combustion. They try to ensure that the coals contain no ashes or hard objects; thanks to these precautions they never get burned.
The brave fire walkers hop barefoot across red-hot coals, without even the slightest sign of burns. The town doesn't attribute the wonders of their unblemished feet to just any old mystical or pagan forces. The town's patron saint, La Virgen de La Peña (the Virgin of Sorrows), is held responsible for this paranormal phenomena.




History:

Some people would say that is a Celtic Rite others a purification rite and others a sun and fire-worship but if you ask to one of the "fire walkers" (or pasadores) about the origin of the fesival, they will simply answer: “It has always been like this” Some people just follow their father’s or grandfather's steps, others just do it as a promise to the Virgen de la Peña, some just do it to prove themselves that they can do it... there are a lot of reasons, but for everyboy in this town the Paso del Fuego is something that belongs to their own identity.


Where and When:
Each year on the midnight of the 23rd to the 24th this rite is held in the amphitheater of the chapel of Virgen de la Peña (Virgin of the Rock) in San Pedro Manrique in the province of Soria. From 2,000 to 4,000 people follow this amazing rite

More Info:

San Pedro Manrique Web site (google translated)

Video:



Calanda 24h Drumming


The Festival:

Once every year, more than one thousand inhabitants of the Spanish village Calanda in the province of Aragon gather around the local church, take up their drums, form bands spontaneously, and start producing more or less arbitrary rhythms. This ritual jamming takes off at noon on Good Friday and ends exactly one day later on Easter Saturday.
For twenty four hours and without pauses or orchestrated compositions, bands of drummers dwell through the streets of Calanda. When one band meets another band, they start duelling, until all drummers find themselves in agreement with a certain rhythm. After their encounter and mutual jamming, the bands move on and prepare themselves for the next battle.

The history:

This tradition, that has been celebrated during Holy Week in Calanda since the middle of the 19th century, was introduced to the world by the town's famous son, the world-renowned film director, Luis Buñuel.

Rules:

Everyone and anyone can participate in "la rompida de la hora" in Calanda. The color is limited to ornamental purple robes and carbines.
Elderly men and women, youth and children of all ages interpret the different rhythms when beating the drums.

Where and When:

"La rompida de la hora" is staged every year on Good Friday and starts at 12 in the afternoon and it last 24h until 12 in the afternoon of the following day.




The village of Calanda in Teruel province, is situated in the center of the region of Aragon. It is easy to get there by car or bus from Zaragoza. Zaragoza is well connected by airport and bus with the main Spanish cities.



More Info:
Calanda web site (google translated)

Videos:




Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Las Fallas



The Festival
In the middle of the Mediterranean coast, Valencia city, celebrates each year the final days of the winter and the arrival of spring with spectacular fires and pyrotechnics. From March 15 to 19 (the feast of Saint Joseph, day of the father in the whole country), Valencia is given over to a carnival of bonfires, fiesta, fireworks and a healthy dose of satire known as Las Fallas, the fires.
Las Fallas is one of the most incredible festivals in a country where incredible festivals are the norm rather than the exception. But, however prepared for Las Fallas you think you are, you will still be surprised by the sheer craziness of it all.
Las Fallas literally means "the fires" in Valencian. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”), which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-machè and plaster statues. Each one in some way satirises a political figure, or a soap star, or more exotic creatures from the movies, TV, sports idols, or simply imagination. Some of them are grotesque, others playful and charming. The labor intensive ninots, often costing up to £40,000, are crafted by neighborhood organizations and take almost the entire year to construct. Many ninots are several stories tall and need to be moved into their final location of over 350 key intersections and parks around the city with the aid of lorries on the day of la plantà (the rising).

Every day at 2pm firecrackers rip through the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in an noisy event called la Mascletá. This concert of gunpowder is very popular and involves different neighbourhood groups competing for the most impressive volley, ending with the terremoto, (literally means "earthquake") as hundreds of masclets exploting simultaneously. 

Celebrations draw to an end with a fabulous firework display in the Paseo de la Alameda, called the Nit del Foc (literally "The Night of Fire"), on March 18. All Fallas burn all over the city the following night in a tremendous spectacle of fire and joy. Valencia is at that moment like Nero´s Rome, a city in flames. That’s why Valencians call this the best firework fiesta in the world! 

The History:
Historians say that the origins of the festival go back to the time when carpenters cleared out their workshops and talleres at the end of winter, throwing out odds and ends of wood and old candles and lighting them on the street the day of Saint Joseph.

Getting there:
Valencia is located at the mid point of the Spanish east Mediterranean coast, 350 kms east of Madrid and 350 kms south of Barcelona. Valencia has an international airport very well communicated with other main airports in Spain and european cities.


Video: 
La nit del foc (the fire night)

Mascleta (earthquake fireworks):





More Info:



Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Bull Running: San Fermin


The Festival:
The Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, is often described as a nine-day party of “controlled chaos“. From the 6th of July to the 14th of July the Festival of San Fermin is a constant celebration with lots of good food and plenty of drinking. As one might imagine there is a noticeable amount of drunkenness. However, for the amount of people and the amount of heavy drinking that goes on, San Fermin is remarkably safe and peaceful.
The Pamplona Bull Run is one of the most chaotic, insane experiences anyone could possibly have.

The Bull Run
The Pamplona bull run takes place at 8am every morning from 7th to 14th July. Runners must be in the running area by 7.30am. The actual run stretches from the corral at Santo Domingo where the bulls are kept, to the bullring where they will fight that same afternoon. The length of the run is 825 metres and the average time of the run from start to finish is about three minutes. The streets through the old town which make up the bull run are walled off so the bulls can't escape. Each day six fighting bulls run the route as well as two herds of bullocks.

The tension builds as the release of the bulls approaches and at 8am on the dot a rocket is fired to confirm that the gate has been opened at the Santo Domingo corral. Runners dressed in white with a red hankerchief around their necks pray to San Fermin then a second rocket announces that the bulls have left. The bulls and the runners then proceed along the route.

The History:
The daily Bull Run forms an important part of the festivities, but San Fermin festival is actually a week long party where the people of Pamplona pay tribute to their religious patron Saint, San Fermin, through prayer, fireworks, bull fights and lots and lots of partying.
Celebrated every year from 6-14 July, for over five hundred years, ever since the 14th Century, San Fermin forms an important part of the culture of Pamplona and is one of Spain’s longest running festivals.
The Bull Run itself was not part of the original religious festival. Locals and tradition says that it was added because San Fermin met his death at the hands of angry bulls who mauled and dragged him through the streets of the old town. But regardless of why it was added to the religous tradition, the Bull Run is now a vital part of the San Fermin Festival and has developed over the years to become a world famous event.

Rules:
The Pamplona Bull Run is one of the most dangerous public festivals in the world. In order to ensure that the Run goes off successfully and to avoid danger the Pamplona Town Council advises that the spectators and runners bear in mind certain minimal rules which guarantee the normal running of the Bull Run.
For this reason it is expressly forbidden:

  • To admit anyone under the age of 18 into the course as minors are totally prohibited from running or participating.
  • To go over the police barriers which the authorities see fit to erect.
  • To place oneself in the zones and areas of the itinerary which are expressly indicated by the agents of the authorities.
  • To hide oneself before the release of the bulls in corners, dead angles or doorways of houses or establishments located throughout the length of the course.
  • To leave open the doors of the houses along the course, the owners or tenants of the said property being responsible for this.
  • To enter into the route in a state of drunkenness, under the effects of drugs or in any inappropriate state.
  • To carry objects which may impede the correct running of the Bull Run.
  • To wear clothes or shoes which are not appropriate for the run.
  • Call the animals or distract them in any way and for whatever reason in the course or during the rounding up in the Bull Ring.
  • To stop in the Bull Run or station oneself on the walls or barriers or in the doorways in such a way as to impede the run or the defence of the runners.
  • To grab onto, harass or mistreat the animals or obstruct their exit enclosure by any action during the amateur bullfight.
  • To take photographs from the streets, walls or barriers without due authorisation.
  • Any other action which may impede the normal running of the Bull Run.
Getting There: 
The nearest international airport is Bilbao, though there are no connecting flights from there. Iberia connects Pamplona with Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona. Long-distance buses connect Pamplona with Bilbao, Madrid and Barcelona. Three trains a day can be taken from Madrid to Pamplona and another three from Barcelona.

More Info:
http://www.turismonavarra.es/eng/propuestas/san-fermines/

Video:



Thursday, 7 October 2010

Human Towers

The history:
The tradition of building human towers originated in Valls, near the city of Tarragona, in the southern part of Catalonia towards the end of the 18th century. Later it developed a following in other regions of Catalonia even Majorca and, after prohibition under Franco, currently has become very popular in parts of Spain. However, the best and most skilled castellersare still found near Tarragona.

The festival:
In Catalan the word 'castell' means castle. A 'castell' is considered a success when stages of its assembling and disassembling, can be done in complete succession. The assembly is complete once all castellers have climbed into their designated places, and the enxaneta climbs into place at the top and raises one hand with four fingers erect, in a gesture said to symbolize the stripes of the Catalan flag. The exaneta then climbs down the other side of the castell, after which the remaining levels of castellers descend in highest-to-lowest order until all have reached safety.

Aside from the people who climb to form the upper parts of the tower, others are needed to form the pinya, or bottom base of the castell, to sustain its weight. Members of the pinya (most often men) also act as a 'safety net' if the tower structure collapses, cushioning the fall of people from the upper levels.


Symbols:
Typically castellers wear white trousers, a black sash, a bandana and a coloured shirt often bearing the team's emblem. A differently coloured shirt indicates which team a participant is in. Team Castellers de Barcelona wear red shirts whileCastellers de Vilafranca wear green shirts.


Where and when:
Every summer around all the catalonia region.
            3rd of October Tarragona
            23rd- 26th September, La Mercé Festival, Barcelona

More info:
http://castellersdebarcelona.cat (catalan language)

Video:

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Tomato Fight

The festival/party:

Surely the worlds' biggest food-fight: every year around 30,00 people descend on the Spanish town of Bunol (in the Valencia region of Spain) to throw more than 240,000 pounds of tomatoes at each other. 

The festival is started with a ham-on-a-stick contest where competitors raced up a pole to retrieve a smoked leg of ham. When the ham is cut down, people put on eye protection and cry for tomatoes as trucks dump the squishy produce onto the village streets. They then proceed to pelt each other with them until all have been used up.

The festival on the last Wednesday of August is called 'the Tomatina' and is basically a town-wide tomato fight. It is thought the tradition began in 1945 when a fight erupted among two young members of a carnival crowd. A vegetable stall was nearby in the town square and every started throwing tomatoes at each other. Exactly one year later, young people met at the square, but this time with their own tomatoes. Another food-fight started but was broken up by police.   In the following years this practice was banned by the authorities, but due to popular demand was given official recognition in 1959. This was only to occur if participants would respect the start and the end of tomato-throwing being announced with a banger.

Rules:

There aren't many rules to tomato warfare, but those that do exist are in the interests of safety and public decency:
l) You can throw tomatoes and tomatoes only.
2) They must be squashed before you throw them, otherwise they can cause a nasty bruise.
3) Although the locals tend to rip each other's clothing, it is officially forbidden and as a visitor, you will be expected to behave.

Getting there:

The nearest airport to Buñol is 30 miles away in Valencia. To get to the festival you'll need to take a local bus or hire a car to drive there.

It is also possible to get to Buñol by train, either from Valencia or from Madrid.

More Info: 

 Video:  



Welcome!!!




Hi all!!

This is a blog dedicated to the most crazy an unknown festivals and events in Spain. Spain has a wide range of events and festivals spread on all the Spanish geography that could be seen as crazy, but they are part of the culture and tradition of the Iberian Peninsula.

In this blog I am going to show some of the most exciting and crazy festivals of Spain, and I am going to give you a small taste of them with videos, pictures and much more!!!

Once again, welcome to everyone, and I hope you enjoy with the most crazy spanish festivals.

Andres. S.
 

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