» The first festival of the year is the Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) on 6th January, which is a public holiday. Traditionally, Spanish children’s Christmas gifts are brought by the Kings on the night of the 5th and, beforehand, amid much excitement, their Majesties take part in processions in almost every city, town and village in the country.
» The city of Cadiz is best-known for its amazing ‘Carnaval’ festivities, but many other places also celebrate the event with processions and satirical songs. These normally take place between mid-February and early March.
» Andalucía is famous for its Semana Santa processions, which are especially spectacular in major cities such as Malaga, Seville, Granada, Almería and Cadiz. The processions in smaller towns and villages are also lovely.
» The Cruces de Mayo festival is held during the first half of May, and flower-decked crosses adorn the streets of many towns of villages. Cordoba puts on an excellent display, and follows it up with a competition for the prettiest patio.
» Normally held in June, this religious festival is celebrated by many towns and villages. The event has been declared of National Tourist Interest in villages such as El Gastor and Zahara de la Sierra, both in Cadiz province.
» On the evening of June 23rd, to celebrate the summer solstice, people flock to the beaches, light bonfires, and party until dawn.
FIESTAS DEL CARMEN
» July 16th is the day of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of fishermen, and this festival is particularly lovely. It is celebrated in many coastal towns. The statue of the Virgin is taken in procession to the beach, where gaily decorated boats await her arrival.
» 1st November is All Saints’ Day. It is a public holiday in Spain, and most people take the opportunity to visit the graves of deceased relatives.
MOORS AND CHRISTIANS FESTIVALS
» In remembrance of the reconquest of Moorish Andalucía by the Catholic Monarchs in the 15th century, many villages re-enact battles between Moors and Christians. Among the best-known Moros y Cristianos celebrations are those in Trevelez (Granada), which takes place in June, Benalauría (Malaga) and Benamahoma (Cadiz), both of which are held in August.