Ferias and Fiestas on the Costa de la Luz
Between April and September, there is always a Feria (a fair in honour of the village saint) somewhere in one of the village and towns of the province of Cádiz. Don't miss the opportunity to discover this facet of Andalusian joie de vivre! Often there is a farming exhibition with pricing of breeding bulls and horses as well as acrobatic cowboy rodeo shows. In the evening there are often flamenco performances and there are many fairground rides, merry-go-rounds, russian mountains etc.
In the "casetas" (half open tents) you can drink and dance - every caseta belongs to a particular association and plays its own style of music, almost always incredibly loud. Best to go on Friday, because it is womens' day and all of them come in their flamenco dresses and dance spontaneously on the streets. In the afternoon there are bullfights and in towns like Jeréz, Puerto de Santa María or Tarifa you can see the most famous matadors of the country. Worth seeing: Feria de Sevilla (early May) and Feria de Caballo de Jeréz (famous, colourful horse exhibitions and parades, mid May).
Carnaval de Cádiz
Cádiz is Spain's capital of carnival and if you like the colourful spectacle of Notting Hill, you should not miss the Carnavál de Cádiz. Highlights are the "cabalgatas", processions of huge, satirical figures made of papier maché on trailers and groups or single people excellently disguised. On every corner there are "coros", groups of men singing satiric songs called "chirrigotas", often lavishly disguised. The inhabitants of Cádiz like funny disguises too, giving a cheerful demonstration of their lust for life and fun. There are also carnival celebrations in smaller towns like Conil or Vejer but on a much smaller scale, of course.
6. "Los Reyes" Three Holy Kings, the day when children in Spain get their presents.
27. Conil: Romería de San Sebastian. Popular pilgrimage with party atmosphere from Conil to El Colorado.
28. Dia de Andalucia
3. - 13.3. Carnaval de Cádiz.
8. - 13.3. Carnaval in Conil and Barbate, in Vejer a week later.
21./22. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday: Via Crucis processions in all villages and towns, particularly atmospheric in Vejer.
24. Easter Sunday: "Toro embolao" - bull chase through the streets of the old town of Vejer.
28.4.-1.5. Vejer: Fiesta de Primavera (springtime fair)
3. - 8. Sevilla: Feria de Abril - folk highlight with good Flamenco
8. - 15. Jeréz: Feria del Caballo - Andalusian fair, beautifully ornate horses
11. - 16. El Puerto de Santa Maria: Feria de Primavera and Fiestas del Vino Fino
1. - 5. Sanlúcar de Barrameda: Feria de la Manzanilla (Sherry fair), Romería del Rocío: Andalusian's famous pilgrimage to the sanctuary in El Rocío (Huelva). In Sanlucar thousands of pilgrims troop over the Guadalquivir delta.
2. - 5. El Colorado: Feria de Primavera (spring fair with cowboy horse shows)
8. - 12. Chiclana: Feria y Fiestas de San Antonio
23. - 24. Noche de San Juan, midsummmer night, open fires on the beach, burning of straw dummies.
16. Conil/Barbate: procession in honour of Virgin Mary, the saint of the fishermen in the harbour, continuing in fishing boats.
20. - 24. Benalup-Casas Viejas: Feria y Fiestas de Santiago y Santa Ana
05. Arcos: Flamenco festival
10.-24. Vejer: processions and animated village fair in honor of the saint Virgen de la Oliva.
Sanlucar de Barrameda: horse race on the beach, worth visiting! 1st race 7. - 9.8., 2nd race 19. - 21.8.
15. Virgin Mary: festivities in all villages and towns
around 20. Vejer:"Noche flamenca" Flamenco concert with famous artists and the town walls as romantic background.
7. - 11. Conil: Feria de Nuestra Señora de las Virtudes, town fair on the Paseo Marítimo
3. - 11. Feria de Tarifa
ca. 15. Jeréz: Fiestas de Otoño (autumn fair and flamenco festival)
Tarifa: Feria Ganadera (rancher exhibition)
18. Sanlúcar de Barrameda: Dia de San Lucas
31. Sanlúcar de Barrameda: Feria de la Tapa
There are no important celebrations until December. During the week before Christmas villages and towns celebrate the Belén Vivente, the most famous one taking place in Arcos and Medina Sidonia. It is a Christmas carol, played by the citizens of the town.