August 21, 2014

Spain is a beautiful and fascinating country, and with the world-famous La Tomatina festival fast approaching, I thought it fitting to explore the other amazing festivals this country has to offer. From religious celebrations to jumping over babies, there doesn't ever seem to be a dull moment in the colourful post-Franco Spain we know and love today. To get you inspired for your next trip to Spain with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle , I've listed three of my favourite Spanish festivals.

La Tomatina, Buñol

The La Tomatina festival had to be at the top of my list; this crazy and messy festival is an amazingly bewildering experience and a must-do if you're an avid traveller. Held in the Valencian town of Buñol on the last Wednesday of August, the festival originally began as a fight between two rivals, where they used tomatoes from nearby markets to throw at each other. Finally, after a ban and even some arrests, in 2002 the festival was declared a festivity of international tourist interest, which paved the way for more creative ways to celebrate this outlandish festival.

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La Tomatina, the most fun you can have with tomatoes!

The festival attracts over 50,000 people and all begins with the climbing of the palo jabón: a greased pole with a ham at the top of it. Once someone has climbed to the very top and knocked over the ham, the tomato throwing can begin. The rules are that all tomatoes must be crushed before throwing (nobody wants to be injured), so I wouldn't recommend wearing anything white - unless you want the stains as a souvenir!

Las Fallas, Valencia

Las Fallas is a wonderfully colourful display of creativity, which makes its way through the city of Valencia once a year. The festival is to celebrate Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, and it's done in an explosive way - literally. Each neighbourhood, or casal faller, of the city is given the role of creating their own celebrations, which includes building a giant statue, the falla, and a puppet, the ninot. So much effort is put into constructing these, and for entertainment purposes they're often of popular characters and people, with past models based on Lady Gaga and Shrek!

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Falla in the Pilar's Square

During the four days leading up to the 19th March, each casal faller parades their falla and ninot throughout the streets, where they're set alight and watched as they burn - a symbol of the city's liberation from past ties. It's a really mesmerising sight, to watch the beautiful constructions smoulder into ashes.

Seville Fair, Seville

If you love to eat, drink and be merry, then the Seville Fair is the festival for you. It begins roughly just after Easter holy week, and runs for six days, showcasing parades, performances, music, and mouth-watering food. As it was originally a livestock fair, throughout the festivities rows and rows of beautifully decorated marquees are put up, and have now become known as one of the events' main attractions.

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Lanterns in the Seville April Fair

During the evenings, women dress up in flamenco-styled dresses and twirl the night away, as the long and winding streets of Seville are lit up by lovely paper lanterns. And, on top of the parades and marquees, you can look forward to an exciting time at the fairgrounds, as well as dining at the tables, where mounds of delicious tapas and bottles of wine and sherry await you- cheers!

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Many local people choose to dress in traditional costume

Ready to celebrate?

Remember, it takes just 35-minutes to get to France from the UK with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle and then it's simply a case of hitting the road, and preparing for a holiday of fantastic festivities. Not only that, but with no baggage restrictions, you can bring back as much wine, food and souvenirs as you wish!



Photo Credits:
La fallera y su crem © Emilio Garcia
La Tomatina © Graham Mc Lellan
Falla in the Pilar's Square © Carquinyol
Lanterns © Edmund Gall
Costumes © Edmund Gall

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