Spain is the land of fiestas or festivals.

In every single city, town and village there is a festival of some kind which gets all the townsfolk out on the streets partying with their neighbours. The biggest festivals of international fame, especially among the Japanese people, are the bullrunning of Pamplona, the fireworks of Las Fallas in Valencia, , the mock battles of Moros y Cristianos in Alcoy, and Semana Santa. The Pamplona bullrunning officially begins at midday on 6th July every year with the ‘chupinazo’ which takes place on the balcony of the Town Hall in Pamplona. Thousands of people congregate in the square awaiting the mayor’s official announcement that the fiestas have begun, a rocket is launched and the party begins. The Pamplona Bull Run takes place at 8am every morning from 7th to 14th July. Runners must be in the running area by 7.30am. The actual run, 825 metres, stretches from the corral at Santo Domingo to the bullring. The Fallas is one of Spain’s biggest national festivals which take place every March in Valencia. It consists of hearing the despertà at 8 am in the morning, listening to the mascletàs in the Townhall square at 2 pm, eating paella and watching huge paper maché figures which are burnt on the 19th of March , the day of San José, the patron of the carpenters, with an enormous amount of fireworks and plenty partying. Mock battles between Moors and Christians take place to celebrate the ‘Reconquest’ of Spain from the Moors. The biggest of these festivals is in Alcoy (Alicante) on 22-24th April. Semana Santa takes place the week leading up to the Easter weekend and consists of processions in which enormous ‘pasos’ (floats) are carried around the streets of Seville by teams of ‘costaleros’ (bearers) followed by hundreds of ‘nazarenos’ (penitents). Many of these floats are religious works of art that date back as far as the 17th century, each showing a small part of the Easter story. La Tomatina, a tomato fight in Buñol near Valencia happens every year on the last Wednesday in August though the partying starts earlier in the week. The highlight of the festival is the tomato fight which takes place between 11am and 1pm on that day. The event has become one of the highlights on Spain’s summer festivals calendar with thousands of people flocking to this little Valencian town for this chaotic event.