The Tomatina has become famous worldwide but read on for other lesser-known fiestas!
The tomato-throwing festival known as La Tomatina and the San Fermín running of the bulls have become famous worldwide. But there are more, many more!
The Spanish word “fiesta” means party but it also can be translated as festival. Every village, town, city has its own and they are taken VERY seriously! The most important celebrations even get a special title: “Fiesta de Interés Turístico Nacional” or Festival of National Touristic Merit and here we talk about just a few of these.
Bous a la Mar
Like it or not bulls are associated with Spain and in some seaside towns they celebrate “Bous a la Mar” or Bulls to the Sea. Half of the temporary bullring is on land and the other half is in the sea. The idea is to get the bull to fall into the water … more often than not it’s the people who get wet!
A Rapa das Bestas
In Galicia residents are joined by volunteers to herd wild horses down from the mountains where the “aloitadores”, with their strength and technique, dominate the animals to cut the manes of the horses – “A Rapa das Bestas”.
Photo courtesy of Carmen Cristino
Spain’s oldest horse race – and it’s on the beach!
Sanlúcar de Barrameda is a town on the Atlantic coast in the south of Spain at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river. On selected evenings in August, taking advantage of the low tide, the long beach is emptied of sunbathers and becomes a horse race track! A spectacular setting for the oldest horse race in Spain.
Photo courtesy of La Real Sociedad de Carreras de Caballos
In Tarazona a hooded figure, known as the Cipotegato and disguised as a harlequin, appears in the main square chased by a tomato-throwing crowd. The earliest written references to the Cipotegato are from 1704 but the tradition could be older still.
Photo courtesy of Ayuntamiento de Tarazona