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What's on in Spain: May 2016

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What's on in Spain: May 2016
The San Isidro fiestas in Madrid. Photo: Bru Garcia/AFP.
12:47 CEST+02:00
Spaniards are eager to get out and enjoy the spring weather in May, taking to the streets to throw fiesta after fiesta.

Festivals

Patios de Córdoba (Córdoba courtyards festival), Córdoba, May 2nd-15th

Photo: Roberto / Wikimedia Commons.

The citizens of Cordoba will be competing for the prize of who has the most lush courtyard, decorating their patios with bright flowers, leafy green plants, fountains and more. The tradition dates back to 1921 with the town hall organizing a competition, along with music, dancing and wine.

Feria de Jerez (also known as the “Horse Fair”), Jerez de la Frontera, April 30th-May 7th

Originally a livestock fair, the wonderful feria of Jerez is much more open than its more famous cousin – that held in Sevilla – as the casetas (temporary structures) are public so anyone can walk in and enjoy the food, drink and the dancing. Expect endless glasses of fino and dancing until dawn.

Titirimundi International Puppet Theatre Festival, Segovia, May 11th-16th

For five days in May, the medieval city of Segovia is transformed in this annual event for puppet enthusiasts. International puppet theatre groups stage performances across the city from traditional puppetry, to street theatre to acrobatics. Fun for all the family.

Fiestas de San Isidro, Madrid, May 12th-15th

San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid and May 15th is a public holiday for Isidro in the capital, though the celebrations usually kick off the week before and last until the Sunday after. Locals dress up in the typical chulapo and goyesco costumes, and dance to the traditional chotis in squares across old Madrid. It’s also the start of the prestigious bullfighting season at Las Ventas.

Culture

Romería de El Rocío (El Rocio Pilgrimage), Almonte, May 15th-16th

A group with their 'simpecado', or copy of the Virgin. Photo: Avicentegil / Wikimedia Commons.

The most famous of Spain’s Romerias, El Rocio attracts some one million people on a pilgrimage to the saint, with some travelling on horseback, other by carriage or on foot dressed in traditional flamenco-style outfits. Expect live music, dancing, food and drink until well into the early hours.

Music

WOMAD Festival (World of Music, Arts and Dance), Cáceres, May 5th-8th
 

Cáceres in Extremadura offers one of the world’s more unique music festivals as it is set within the historical walled city. And the three-day festival - which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year - is completely free! 

Sport

Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid, April 29th-May8th

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal at the 2010 Mutua Madrid Open. Photo: PictFactory / Wikimedia Commons.

A chance for tennis fans to see Rafa Nadal play on his home turf (clay) in this Masters competition. Held in the Caja Mágica, the tournament attracts all the big names from the tennis circuit.

Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, May 13th-15th

Photo: Josep Lago/AFP.

The Formula 1 race held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the oldest in the world and celebrated its centenary in 2013. A must for petrol heads.

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