Fiestas of Spain
It is a widely known fact that on every day of the year there is a festival, or 'fiesta', happening somewhere in Spain. Most of the fiestas in Spain have religious backgrounds, hailing the patron saint of each city and island, praising the virgin Mary and worshipping Jesus Christ. Nowadays, with Catholicism in decline, the festivals are used as an excuse to close down shops for a day or two, drink to excess and join in with one hugely long party.
Valencia's great fire festival, Las Fallas, is the first of the springtime fiestas. It marks the end of winter and the celebrators burn paper Mache effigies to say 'out with the old, and in with the new'. In Alcoi, the residents stage huge battles between actors portraying the Moorish defeat by the hands of the Catholic armies, bringing on the re-conquest of Spain. The biggest celebration in Andalusia is Seville's April fair. It attracts locals and tourists from all over the world.
Obviously, as Spain is a mainly Catholic nation, the Easter festivities are some of the most important and strictly followed in the land. Eggs are sometimes exchanged, hen's eggs and chocolate eggs, to commemorate Jesus' triumph over death in the beginning of a new life in Heaven. Some more traditional and slightly more committed rituals are those of carrying a heavy wooden cross and sometimes even actually torturing and nailing a man to the cross.
As far as street parties go, it does not get much better than the February/March carnival, especially for those staying in either Santa Cruz or Tenerife.
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