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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:



Read more
5

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:



Read more
10

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:

Read more
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:  



Read more
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

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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