Spain…land of 10pm dinners, siestas and a never ending flow of delicious sangria. I hardly need another reason to tempt you, but in case you are still not convinced, you need to check out these crazy festivals taking place all over Spain this summer.
Only in Spain do they have festivals that involve a day of throwing tomatoes, a day of throwing grapes, a day of spraying each other with Rioja wine, an evening where they jump over babies followed by a festival where they let bulls chase them through the narrow city center streets, running for dear life. Spain seriously wind in the category of craziest festivals! Here’s the top5 5 craziest festivals in Spain, I’ll let you decide which it the wackiest.
Top 6 Craziest Festivals in Spain
6. La Tomatina (tomato throwing festival)
This is the world-renowned, tomato-flinging festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the Valencian town of Buñol, just 30 km from the Mediterranean. Thousands of joyful revelers use truckloads of overripe tomatoes as missiles to cover their friends and strangers in red, mushy goodness.
Only recently has the town started charging an entrance fee, so you’ll need a ticket to get in. Bring goggles and a change of clothes if you’re heading here – nothing worse than getting an acidic tomato in the eye!
5. The Wine Battle (A water fight, with wine!)
Battles are not supposed to be fun, but this is not the case of this one: up to 6000 litres of wine are given away for free to the local villages to stage the most epic water fight of all time!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a drinking battle, wine is actually the ammunition! This is a battle with no winners or losers, where participants throw wine at each other; using wine skins and even spray pumps to drench opponents with thousands of litres of wine. After the battle, everyone joins in on a mid-morning snack and, as midday draws near, everyone return to the city to move round the Plaza de la Paz in the typical vueltas (turns) to accompanying traditional music. Sounds like a pretty mad day out to me!
Not far from Haro, just a week later, the fun goes on in the historic city of Pamplona with one of the most well-known Spanish festivities:
4. San Fermín (running with bulls)
A festival dedicated to running through the streets of Pamlona with deadly bulls? Only in Spain! San Fermin, the festival that once stole Heminway’s heart has its origins in the Middle Ages and is related to three celebrations: religious ceremonies, trade fairs and bullfights.
Initially, the fiesta San Fermín was held on October 10th, but in 1591 the people of Pamplona, fed up with the bad weather at that time of the year, decided to transfer the fiesta to July so it would coincide with the Fair. This is how the Sanfermines were born. It initially lasted two days and had a pregón (opening speech), musicians, a tournament, theatre and bullfights but now it extends over a week each July, attracting people from all over Spain and the world.
The action begins early in the morning for the most daring participants, when the bulls are set free and a breathtaking race of approximately three minutes starts along the narrow streets of Pamplona, ending up in the city’s bullring. At night the atmosphere becomes electric, with bars seeming to multiply, especially in the old part of the city.
3. La Raimà Festival (Grape throwing madness)
On the last Friday of August each year, in Pobla Del Duc, tens of tons of “Grenache” grape are shared among the participants of the party. Several lorries show up at around mid day in the town centre and dump 40 tons of the local Spanish Garnacha Tintorera grapes into throngs of eager people who proceed to fling the fruit in a complete free for all!
This festival began to celebrate the end of the harvest of grapes for wine-producing and is now a large festival and celebration for both locals and those visiting from abroad.
This festival, which takes place in a village close to Valencia, Spain aims to promote the wine-growing tradition of the town where 70 per cent of the population works in the agricultural sector and the grape has been the main source of income for most of the locals for many years.
2. El Colacho Festival (Baby Jumping)
You would be forgiven for being curious about the title of this festival because even though Spain boasts some of the most unusual and bizarre festivals compared to the rest of the world, none come close to the excitement aroused by the Baby Jumping Festival held each year in Castillo de Murcia near Burgos.
The uniquely Spanish festival sees townspeople dress up in colourful costumes and form a queue to leap over a mattress laden with babies born during the previous 12 months. The ceremony rids the babies of evil spirits and guards against illness.
1. Santa Marta de Ribarteme (near death festival)
Did you manage to survive a near death experience during the past year? Well then, congratulations, you’ve earned the privilege of being placed in a coffin and paraded through the streets of Las Nieves, in Spain, as part of a festival called La Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme! Interested?!
Those who have had a brush with death in the past year are carried through the streets in coffins to thank Saint Marta, the ‘patron saint of death’. Known in Spanish as Romería de Santa Marta de Ribarteme, this is one the most bizarre festivals out there!
Now while this might not sound like a typical Spanish fiesta – fear not as even though the near dead themselves might be in serious contemplation, most of the spectators lining the streets are much more likely to be lighting fireworks, eating Pulpo a la Gallega and dancing along to the numerous gypsy dance bands. A great day out, really!
Fly Me To Spain!
If you decide to check out one of these festivals (and why wouldn’t you?!) I’ve got your back when it comes to getting there on the cheap! My research tells me you can get flights for between 60 and 90 euro, depending on what city you fly to and when you leave.
Find Me A Place To Stay!
Okay, okay, I’ve got your back. I’m not normally the best person at finding accommodation deals (I’m all about the cheap flights) but I have done a bit of research and here’s what I’ve found using Trivago. In case you didn’t know, Trivago compares all other accommodation comparison sites so you are sort of guaranteed to get the best deal. I’m sure there’s loads more, but here is just an example of how cheap some of the accommodation options in Spain are!
As always…Happy Travels! :-)