Spanish towns and cities are famous for their festivals (fiestas), and Malaga is no exception. There are many fiestas throughout its calendar, some larger than others. Here we list some of the more popular fiestas to look out for:-
Easter week is celebrated in a bigger way in Andalucia than in the rest of the country. Neighbouring towns compete with one another in terms of the size and grandeur of events. Festivities in Malaga are amongst the best in Spain, taking on a carnival like atmosphere and doubling the cities population. They take the form of various processions starting near the Cathedral; some carrying magnificent effigies, other (mock) prisoners etc. The fiesta culminates on Easter Sunday with a colourful and vibrant “procession of the resurrected”.
Another popular fiesta is “Las Hogueras de San Juan” (Bonfires/Feast of St. John) on the 24th of June. Bonfires are lit on the beachfront and huge papier-mâché effigies are burnt upon them accompanied by fireworks. The tradition is to dip your feet in the sea just after midnight (for good luck). This is a fun festival with lots of eating, drinking and dancing. Be prepared to stay up late.
On July 16th and on the following Sunday local sailors honour their patroness La Virgen del Carmen. The event takes place around the marina at El Palo, amongst other locations. An effigy of the patroness is first paraded through the city streets and then out at sea aboard a flower laden boat, trailed by a flotilla of fishing boats. The evening culminates with much dancing and singing, as well as customary fireworks.
Every town/village in Andalucia province has its own summer feria/fair; Malaga’s summer fair takes place during the 3rd week of August. Originating in medieval times as an annual trading event Malaga’s fair has taken the shape of a 10 day long street party, also commemorating the re-conquest of the city by Isabella and Ferdinand in 1487. In the daytime events are centred around the Marques de Larios street (Malaga’s version of Bond Street) in the town centre. Cars are replaced by horses and much flamenco, eating and drinking take place. The evenings move towards the park area where there are grandeus firework displays and a huge fairground, open from 9pm until dawn.