Tag Archive: Tradition

Extremadura: Jarramplas festival

Every January in Extremadura, residents fill the streets of Piornal, eager to punish Jarramplas. The fellow who plays this devil-like character wears a carefully padded suit beneath his costume of colorful fabric strips and a frightening mask – essential protection, since Jarramplas walks the streets and beats a drum while residents hurl armloads of turnips […]

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Midnight Grape Eating on New Year’s Eve in Spain

The chiming of the New Year bells in Spain – be it via the local church bells nearest TV set – heralds a unique, and hilarious tradition. From Madrid to Murcia, Badajoz to Bilbao, Spaniards and visitors the country over hurriedly eat twelve grapes to mark the final twelve seconds of the year. A vine […]

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Stairway to heaven: Catalonia’s astounding human towers

Pass through a plaza in Barcelona or Tarragona, or any number of Catalan towns and villages during a local festival and you could be in for a breathtaking sight: local men, women and children standing on each other’s shoulders up to ten tiers high. The human tower or castell (“castle” in Catalan) is a mind-bogglingly […]

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La Tomatina: Valencia’s tomato throwing festival

La Tomatina is a festival unlike any other. It culminates when – for a couple of crazy hours – the small town of Bunyol (near Valencia) becomes a battleground for the world’s biggest food fight. Tens of thousands of people gleefully hurl ripe tomatoes at each other, every year on the last Wednesday of August, […]

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Semana Santa: A week not to be missed

Those visiting Spain during the week before Easter will witness a country in complete transformation with one of its most spectacular and traditional events. Semana Santa, or Holy Week, fills the streets all around Spain with the beating of drums, masses of colorful flowers, religious sculpture, and a highly moving atmosphere. So intense is this […]

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Las Fallas: Valencia’s most fiery festival

Every March, while many people around the world eagerly await chirping birds, budding trees and other signs of spring, Valencians are putting the finishing touches on their fallas. These highly flammable papier-mache sculptures of celebrities, politicians and historical figures can reach up to 60 feet in height, and embody the essence of the Valencian community. […]

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Cadiz: the hidden Carnival destination

When most people think of Carnival, they think of sequined samba dancers, non-stop street parties and Brazilian heat, but one of the most important Carnivals actually takes place in the south-western tip of Spain – and it has a very different take on the celebration. A party for the pious Carnival is technically a religious […]

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Calçotadas in Catalonia: Warm up with a winter tradition

The Catalonian countryside has so much to offer visitors: everything from rolling green hills, to snow-capped mountain peaks, to seemingly endless vineyards waving in the breeze. Charming masias (rural homes built of stone that often date back centuries) dot the landscapes and, in the winter, billows of fragrant smoke escape from the chimneys. They look […]

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A Holiday Fit for Kings

Live it up like a local on January 5th and 6th with Spain’s Reyes Magos celebrations If you’re travelling in Spain in early January, you’re in for a real treat. The Spanish Christmas tradition of Los Reyes Magos – The Three Kings’ Celebrations – sees gifts, parades and cheer shower the streets of all towns […]

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