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FESTIVALS

Quiz: How well do you know Spain’s fiestas?

From food fights to jumping over new-born babies, it is no secret that Spain is home to some weird and wonderful festivals.

Quiz: How well do you know Spain's fiestas?
La Tomatina tomato fight in Buñol has been dubbed 'the world's biggest food fight'. Photo: AFP.

If you're up for a unique type of fiesta, it might be a good plan to do a little studying and see what you'll be getting yourself in for.

Test your knowledge of the Spain's bizarre traditions with this quiz. 

 

How well do you know Spanish festivals?

 

You may have seen the burning of Las Fallas in Valencia or seen pictures of the world's biggest human tower competition, but have you ever participated in a wine battle, or pelted root vegetables at a young man dressed as the devil? Dive into Spain's wacky festivals with this quiz.

 

On which Spanish island are horses welcomed into the crowd to join in with San Juan celebrations?

 

The eastern town of Ibi celebrates El Día de Los Innocentes (Spain’s equivalent of April Fools’ Day) by imposing a series of ridiculous laws on residents and staging a battle of egg and flour, but who is responsible for coming up with the mad laws? 

 

During 2017’s Las Fallas festival, Valencia’s city hall created the tallest falla (wooden structure) to date. How tall was it? 

 

Which Catalan city is home the world’s biggest human tower building competition?

 

In which year was La Tomatina, the world's biggest food fight, born?

 

Which day of the year marks Spain's national day?

 

To celebrate carnival, what do citizens of La Palma throw at each other in the streets? 

 

We all know about the running of the bulls in Pamplona for San Fermín, but how long is the actual race through the streets? 

 

In an attempt to drive away evil, what do residents of the wester village of Piornal pelt at one young man dressed as the devil during the festival of Jarramplas? 

 

On which day do the people of Haro, in La Rioja, celebrate the feast of San Pedro by soaking each other with thousands of litres of wine? 

 

It seems like it might be time for you to let your hair down any enjoy some Spanish style celebrations!

 

You've obviously attended a fair bunch of Spanish fiestas in your time, but perhaps it's time for you to start testing some of the more bizarre celebrations out there…

 

Woohoo! You're a Spanish festival expert!

By Alice Huseyinoglu

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FESTIVALS

In Pictures: Spain’s Fallas festival returns after pandemic pause

Valencia's Fallas festival wrapped up with fireworks and the burning of colourful sculptures on Sunday after returning to the eastern Spanish city following a pandemic-induced hiatus.

In Pictures: Spain's Fallas festival returns after pandemic pause
Ninots (cardboard effigies) burn as one installation of the Fallas Festival is set alight in Valencia on September 5, 2021. Photos: José Jordan/AFP

The five-day festival is traditionally held in March but was cancelled last year as the Covid-19 pandemic swept Spain. This year, officials postponed the start of the UNESCO-recognised event until September 1st.

It was the first time that the festival was suspended since the end of Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War.

Each year, residents make hundreds of colourful puppet-like sculptures — some as big as a four-storey building — out of wood, plaster and papier-mache for the festival.

Called “ninots”, the sculptures depict fairytale characters and cartoonish effigies of politicians and celebrities.

One ensemble from this year’s event was inspired by the hit Spanish Netflix series “Money Heist”. It depicted several people wearing red overalls and Salvador Dali face masks like the main characters in the show.

The ninots are displayed in the streets of the Mediterranean city and then burned on the last day of the festival — in a bonfire called the “Cremà” — in a centuries-old tradition honouring St Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.

Fireworks lit up the night sky as this year’s bonfire, which features about 750 sculptures, was held without the thousands of spectators that the event usually draws.

The bonfire was brought forward by two hours to allow festivities to end before a nightly virus curfew came into effect at 1:00 am (2300 GMT).

After much debate a customary flower offering to the Virgin Mary was allowed to proceed — but without people lining the route, as is tradition.

“These are not Fallas as such, more like Fallas-related events that comply with health regulations,” said Valencia mayor Joan Ribo.

The Fallas festival is believed to have originated from pagan rituals marking the end of winter.

The pandemic has forced the cancellation of many of Spain’s most famous fiestas, including Pamplona’s bull-running festival and Seville’s Holy Week processions.

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