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When to Visit Andalusia – Festivals and Fiestas

In Andalusia, parties and celebrations take place every day - it doesn’t matter whether it’s a harvest festival (mostly autumn grapes, olives, chestnuts and mushrooms), day of one of the saints, or just a town fair with people dressed in carnival clothes – there’s always more than enough of sherry (a traditional fortified wine) and dancing. Andalusia hosts around 3,000 fiestas every single year! Each of Andalusia’s 800 communities has its own patron saint, fair or carnival.

To make deciding on when to visit this colourful Spanish region easier, Travel on Spot presents you a short description of the most important Andalusian celebrations by month.

January

In Andalusia, fiestas start at the very beginning of the New Year. The first one is called Los Reyes Magos – three kings come to visit Andalusia’s children.

February

Typical costumes of flamenco in Spain
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Typical costumes of flamenco in Spain

It’s carnival time! So put on a fancy dress and head out to the famous Cadiz City Carnival. Cadiz is a real party city – beginning in February, various events take place here almost year-round. The Cadiz City Carnival is especially famous for its satire groups, called chirigotas – accompanied by guitars, drums and other instruments, groups of seven to twelve people perform comedy routines, sing, act and improvise.

In February, lovers of flamenco should head towards the festival in Cheres de la Frontera - it’s the city where the famous fortified wine of the same name is made. Appreciators of young wine should mark the Fiesta del Most, taking place in the town of Umbreta, in their calendars. The end of the month is graced by the regional festival, called Dia de Andalucia.

March

During the Semana Santa (the Holy Week), street processions in cities and towns carry statues of Jesus and Mary on pedestals. This religious celebration, which usually takes place before Easter, can also take place in April.

Film lovers should visit the Málaga Film Festival. Sports enthusiasts gather in Cheres de la Frontera, where the MotoGP races take place.

April

Let the season of fairs begin! It’s time to go to the famous April Fair in Seville, where you can drink and dance until midnight. April is also the time of the second largest regional pilgrim festival in Andújar.

In Marbella, sports enthusiasts go to watch an important women’s tennis tournament. And in three Eastern provinces of Andalusia, the world’s longest – 500 km - horse race takes place.

Dancing with typical Spanish Andalusian Flamenco Costume
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Dancing with typical Spanish Andalusian Flamenco Costume

May

Córdoba dives into flower festivals: The Crosses Festival, The Patios Festival and the Córdoba City Spring Fair.

The horse fair in Cheres de la Frontera, flowing with local wine, is a very popular celebration with riders.

Millions of pilgrims gather for the El Rocío Pilgrimage in the Doñana National Park.

Alhambra Castle Morning Sky ityscape Walls Granada Churches Andalusia
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Alhambra Castle Morning Sky ityscape Walls Granada Churches Andalusia

June

The Granada International Festival of Music and Dance offers an exclusive opportunity to listen to concerts in the impressive Alhambra Fortress. The religious Corpus Cristi celebration is very popular in Granada and Seville. And let’s not forget the Noche de San Juan, celebrated with myriads of fires and dancing until dawn.

July

Music keeps on playing in Andalusia - the famous Córdoba Guitar Festival takes place this time of year. The city hosts flamenco, rock, blues, jazz and other types of music performances. As the month comes to a close, music travels to the Nerja Caves Festival. You can also go the Alcázar Park in Seville where open-air plays and musical performances take place until the autumn comes.

In July, the fishing communities of Andalusia take part in the festival of Virgen de Carmen, where they march to the sea and ask the queen of the seas for blessings.

Flamenco street musicians entertaining people with flamenco music in Granada
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Flamenco street musicians entertaining people with flamenco music in Granada

August

Time to head for the beach! Take heart if you find yourself in the city, though, as many festivals take place here as well: in Seville’s 21 Degrees you can see movies, theatre plays, listen to music and explore other art forms; the Fair of Málaga is ten days long; Sanlúcar de Barrameda hosts beachside horse races; and Huelva celebrates Latin American music and dance.

September

Vendimia is a grape harvest celebration that takes place in Cheres de la Frontera and the entire region. The Ronda Fair attracts matadors, dressed in traditional garb, who confront angry bulls face to face. Seville hosts the traditional flamenco festival.

October

Columbus Day is mostly celebrated in Huelva – the city where his great geographical discoveries had their beginning. In October, Cadiz hosts the Ibero-American Theatre Festival.

November

The Seville Film Festival attracts many famous industry people. Cadiz celebrates Hallowmas. November is also the time of matanza - the slaughter of pigs, which is marked by various celebrations in the entire region of Andalusia.

December

Christmas Eve and the New Year are the biggest celebrations in Andalusia, so get ready to have fun!

 

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