Spain goes event crazy this August
August is an exciting month to be in Spain, with an abundance of great festivities to celebrate everything from cycling to tomatoes. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a selection to look out for...
Octopus Festival, Ourense, Galicia (6-11 August)
This gastronomic festival has been declared of National Tourist Interest. It takes place in the central park of O Carballiño and pays tribute to Galicia’s most popular and traditional food, octopus. This year over 50,000 people are expected to attend the festival to enjoy the delicious food and friendly atmosphere. Other delicacies to be enjoyed include Galician empanadas, stews, Ribeiro wine and bread from Cea, finishing with a glass of Quiemada.
San Lorenzo Fiestas, Huesca (9-15 August)
The sound of a rocket being fired at 12pm on 9 August signals the start of the festivities and invites thousands of people to fill the Huesca’s Plaza de la Catedral. Over the five days you can see a festive parade, dancers, holy offerings of flowers and fruit, folklore and traditional costumes, concerts, street entertainment, children’s shows and folk performances. The festivities continue with the exhibition of the Rocks, allowing party goers to keep going until sunrise.
Semana Grande, San Sebastián (10-16 August)
Semana Grande in San Sebastián begins with cannon fire launched from Alderdi Eder, and the Artillero song. One of the most impressive elements of the festival is the International Fireworks Contest, with participants from all around the world. Festival goers can also enjoy free street shows and music from local and international artists.
Marmita, Castro Urdiales (15 August)
After a big night on 14 August, Castro Urdiales and its residents celebrate one of its biggest festivals, La Marmita. The bleary-eyed residents flood into the Plaza del Ayuntamiento where hundreds of people compete to cook the best pot of Marmitako, a stew of potatoes, tuna and peppers. Judged by a panel of expert Marmitako tasters, the competition is fierce but the party atmosphere resounds throughout the day.
Semana Grande, Bilbao (17-25 August)
As San Sebastián’s festivities wind down, Bilbao gets ready for its biggest party of the year and thousands of people meet to enjoy the atmosphere and activities. The festival kicks off with a burst of fireworks, before offering music, sports, theatre, dance, activities for children and lots more. The last day of the festivities focus around Marijaia, a fictitious character who symbolises the Bilbao fiestas and is burnt in Plaza Arriaga to signal the end of the festival.
La Vuelta (24 August-15 September)
Helmets at the ready! This annual multiple stage bicycle race through Galicia, Castillay Leon, Extremadura, Andalucia, Aragon, Cataluña, La Rioja, Cantabria and Asturias, is not for the faint hearted, but does take in a fantastic range of regions. The race ends by returning to Madrid and closing on September 15.
Fiesta de la Sidra, Gijon (23-25 August)
This annual cider festival held at the end of August celebrates Gijon’s cider, a typical and delicious Asturian product which is more bitter than English cider, with less bubbles. Contests and exhibitions in the streets and much merriment take place to celebrate this favoured local drink.
La Tomatina (28 August)
This fun, food fighting festival takes place on the last Wednesday of August in Buñol near to Valencia. Thousands of people come to participate in this huge food fight, where more than 100 tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. Last year the festivities went on for three days, so make sure you take plenty of clean clothes!
Battle of the flowers, Laredo (30 August)
The last Friday of August sees the streets of Laredo filled with beautiful fresh flowers, culminating with a parade of adorned floats setting off through the streets at 5.30pm in the afternoon. The festival also features street markets and musical performances, with a contest to announce the winner of the best float of the year and spectacular fireworks.
With all this going on, August is set to be a fun-filled month in Spain. Whatever your plans, we hope you can enjoy at least one of these fantastic festivals.
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