Upcoming Festivals in Spain

Every city in Spain has its unique festivals throughout the year. Here are just a few coming up for 2013, courtesy of the Tourist Office of Spain.

FEBRUARY: Carnival Festivities in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands)

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is the most "Brazilian" of all the Spanish carnivals. Attendees should be sure to attend the gala to elect the Carnival Queen, one of the carnival's main events, held on the Wednesday of the first week of festivities. Once the queen has been elected, the parade announcing the start of the Carnival takes place on the Friday: thousands of people and dozens of musical groups fill the streets for hours. Over the three next days, the city gives itself up to music and fun as the different carnival groups perform. 

MARCH: Fallas, Valencia

The Fallas are Valencia's most international festival, taking place over a week and ending on March 19, the day of Saint Joseph. During the week of Fallas, the city fills with gigantic cardboard monuments, called "fallas" that make an an impressive exhibition of art and color which will leave you speechless, specially once you realize that all this work is done with the sole purpose to be set on fire the last day of the festivities, the "nit de la cremá"

APRIL: Sevilla April Fair (Andalusia)

The April Fair is one of the most international and popular of Seville's fiestas. For a week, more than a thousand "casetas" (tents) installed in the fairground area become the second home of the city's inhabitants, a place where people gather to eat, drink and dance until the early hours of the morning. The fiesta officially begins at midnight on Monday with the "lighting test", the illumination of the thousands of multi-colored light bulbs in the fairground and adorning the main gateway, which has a different motif every year. Inside, the casetas host "sevillanas", the local version of flamenco dancing, and visitors dress up in traditional costumes (pictured).

JULY: San Fermín (the running of the Bulls), Pamplona (Navarra region)

"A spectacle capable of getting you out of bed at half past five in the morning for several days in a row." These are the words of Ernest Hemingway about "San Fermín" festivities. During this event, the streets of Pamplona are a 24-hour party, where the bull is the star turn. Just before midday on July 6, the Square in front of the Town Hall in Pamplona is home base for nine days of non-stop celebrating through the streets of the city. Every morning, hundreds of people run through the old part of town in front of the bulls until they reach the bullring, where the animals will take part in the afternoon bullfight. 

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