Festivals in Spanish Speaking Countries

Festivals in Spanish Speaking Countries

Major Festivals of Spain

  • “Las Fallas” is a significant festival in Valencia, Spain, taking place every March, where locals create and then burn large effigies. This festival leads to a week-long celebration filled with parades, fireworks, and other activities.
  • “La Semana Santa” or Holy Week is widely celebrated in all Spanish-speaking countries. Religious processions take place, particularly in Spain and Mexico, with participants often dressing in traditional garb.
  • “Los Sanfermines” (The Running of the Bulls) takes place in Pamplona, Spain every July. Apart from the dangerous activity of running in front of charging bulls, the festival also incorporates music, dancing, and an overall festive atmosphere.
  • “La Feria de Abril” is a fair celebrated mainly in Seville, Southern Spain. For an entire week, participants join flamenco dancing, horse shows, and enjoy traditional cuisine in decorated “casetas” or tents.

Celebrations in Latin America

  • “El Día de los Muertos” or Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday where families honour their deceased loved ones. It is not a sombre event, but a festive and colourful holiday, lasting from October 31 to November 2. Traditions include building private altars, visiting graves with gifts and favourite foods of the deceased.
  • “El Carnaval” is celebrated in various Spanish-speaking countries, especially in the Canary Islands and Latin America. The festival usually involves costumes, parades, parties, and dancing in the street before the solemn season of Lent.
  • The “Guelaguetza Festival” is an annual indigenous cultural event in Mexico that takes place in Oaxaca. It’s a gathering of the regions of Oaxaca showcasing their different dances, music, and traditional costumes.

Importance and Vocabulary of Festivals

  • Remember to know the basic vocabulary associated with celebrations. Words like fiesta (party), desfile (parade), música (music), danza (dance), comida (food), and fuegos artificiales (fireworks) might come up often.
  • Understand that these festivals are significant parts of the culture, deeply rooted in history, religion, and traditions of Spanish-speaking societies. These are not only times for celebration but also for remembrance, penance, unity, and self-identity.