March 14th, 2012
April – It´s not all about Easter! Although, if you do happen to spend April in Spain, then Easter -Semana Santa – really is the big parade and one not to be missed. Spanish style is the only style when it comes to the biggest celebration of the year and Seville is one of the best shows to see, but what´s on the rest of the month?
Put the kettle on and have a read – there´s more to the start of a warm Spring in Spain than just the chocolate eggs!
1st – 8th April – Parades, passion and more…
As Lent winds down, Spain winds up with one of the most fantastic shows on earth. Turn on any local TV station in Spain and you´ll be met with celebrations starting in every village , town and city. This is the culmination of 40 days and 40 nights – Semana Santa. Floats of embroidery and gold, best dressed statues, weighty flower covered platforms swaying as they are followed by the praying pilgrims and onlookers…..
The colour, the vibrancy and the solemn passion remind you of the effect religious festivals still have in Spain. Read more about the processions and order of the week here.
8th April -A load of bull
Still here in Andalucía on Easter Sunday? Then Gaucín is holding a mini bull run through it´s streets. A scaled down version of the popular Pamplona event – you´ll find Gaucín about an hour away from the famous rock of Gibraltar, in the province of Malaga. Part of the trail of White Villages that cling to the hillsides and make up the picture perfect postcard that is this part of Andalucía.
A normally sleepy white washed traditional Spanish mountain village, Easter Sunday as far back as the 18th century has seen the annual Bull Run or Toro de Cuerda. Compared to the hordes of tourists that descend on the Pamplona affair, this is a much more restrained fiesta, with maybe only 50 to 100 people actually taking part.
Three bulls actually take part on the day – unfortunately later they are killed – this has less to do with cruelty or similarity to the bull ring, and more to do with EU laws which dictate that any animal taken from the herd may not return…post BSE laws.
If it´s your thing then you may take part in the chase of your life on Easter Sunday this year.
8th & 9th April – Have your cake and eat it
Up in regal Asturias, in the pretty town of Avilés, you can happily eat your way through Easter Sunday. The local iced bun has it´s very own fiesta on Easter Sunday and Monday, where hordes gather to enjoy a communal feast – as they have done for more than 100 years.
Originally a day to show peace between the warring religious guilds the Fiesta del Bollo means that today you can join in with the families and townsfolk and munch with the best of them. Washed down, not with a nice cup of tea, but the local white wine! Seems like anytime is the cocktail hour here!
Which reminds me, if you go now until the 18th of this month – March – you can also take part in the Cider and Cheese festival too!
Cider, Cheese, Cake and Wine – what a lovely place!
15th & 16th April – Pop Festival
You´ll need to lose a few pounds after all that munching and drinking. Head back down to Seville. Having just brushed up after the Semana Santa shenanigans, they´re off again - does this place ever sleep?!
The South Pop Festival of Seville is organised by an independent record store, and it´s aim is to bring indie and alternative music to Seville over 2 days. So don´t be put off by the name, Pop it´s not!
Bands from all over Europe, the United States and Canada came last year to take part in the festival, acts will perform in the Teatro Alameda, and tickets are 25€ for one full day and 40€ for a two day pass to see all the bands.
20th April until 6th May
Overrunning into the month of May is the Festimad Madrid. More music in the open air of one of the best cities in Europe. The official page is available by clicking here, where you can view all of this year´s line up in full. Groups from England, Senegal and South America join some of Spain´s best bands to take part.
27th to the 29th April
Leather, speed, burning rubber, and two wheels your thing?
If you want all four – AND sunshine in Spain this Spring then grab a ticket to the MotoGP – Moto Grand Prix of Spain – taking place in Jerez at the end of the month.
Prices at the Circuto de Jerez range from €31 (child) €67 (adult) up to a whopping €1140 for the full VIP Village treatment, depending on your budget and how much of it you are prepared to blow!
Incidentally, parking is free of charge at the Circuto de Jerez, as long as you arrive in plenty of time as spaces are obviously limited at events such as this. Jerez is not just about the bikes either, taste the sherry, watch the flamenco, see the city whilst you are here too - read more about a visit to Jerez here.
24th to the 29th April
Wrapping up the month of April, we´re back in….Seville again!! Of course, this is the one not to miss, the amazing Feria de Seville, which takes place every year exactly two weeks after the Easter festivities. Once you have been to the Seville Fair, you will be in no doubt that Spring has arrived, Spanish style!
Midday to sunset, relax in the Seville sunshine and watch the `it´ list on horseback and decorated carriages canter past – dressed up to the nines in traditional flamenco frills and dots. More than a dozen streets give over coveted space to the Casetas – canvas tents and pavilions – to the rich Seville set – a bit like the Royal Enclosure at Ascot! Try and wag entrance if you have `someone in the know´, otherwise join the rest of us rank and file at one of the seven different public Casetas, and just join in the merriment!
What to expect?
Hey, this is the Spanish party to end all parties: a background scent of Orange blossom and strong Spring. A soundtrack of sultry Flamenco guitar. Spabish sunshine with drinking, tapas, conversation, music , dancing – all day and all night… so a few lessons in pacing yourself as well as few phrases are worth the effort…! Enjoy.
So, that´s April covered. Did you really think that Easter was the only option?! Spain is where the word party was invented – I´m almost sure! – so dust off your best attire and join in …..we´re waiting!
flickr credits for this post to: Tom BKK