The Fiesta de Santa Tecla is the most important festival in the Tarragona region of the Spanish Mediterranean coast and one of the most famous and well-known festivals throughout the entire country. The festival is held in the final weeks of September (each year the exact dates vary by a day or two) and during that time the entire city comes to life to the sounds of music and fireworks and the sight of classical beasts and the region’s famous human castles (“castells”).
During the beginning of the festival, it’s common to find impromptu concerts, plays, and performances in the street, usually well-lubricated with free or almost-free glasses of ice cold vermouth, an aperitif popular in the area of Spain. Later, towards the end of the festivities, you might be lucky enough to catch one of Spain’s most unique cultural spectacles: the castellers. During the castells, groups of young men and women who’ve trained throughout the year gather
This fair takes place in Salou from the 3rd to the 6th of September. On the streets of Ponent, Miró and Esglesia, there are a lot of places where the shopkeepers are in medieval clothes, where you can buy bread, crafts, food, tea, gifts ...... The street is decorated with medieval flags. There is a string of donkeys and children walk every day there are performances and small parades, always with the same theme. It is a entertaining funfair that closes the summer. It is usually quite busy and the kids would go every day.
This day is very special for us. Whenever we go to Tarragona to stroll among the stalls of books, and among the many others where there are people such as Sant Jordi and politicians always take the opportunity to go. Personally I prefer the books. The atmosphere is good and festive and you can always find cool things and see interesting tradition.
This was, for me, the best act of the carnival and I hope to go again this year. In the Plaza de la Paz, the performance on stage represents the struggle between good and evil by "Els Malaits Devils" of Salou and the Archangel Michael. The devils, including Lucifer, the She-Devil and L'Esclafit, dominate the stage until you see San Miguel, in the persona of a child dressed as an angel. A very nice show, well worth seeing.
The June 29 Ametlla de Mar celebrates its summer festival, the festival of Sant Pere. The festival begins on the 28th and leads to a festival in honor of the fishermen, organized by the Association of Fishermen of Ametlla. During the 3 days of the Festival traditional and sporting events are held such as the marathon, the public boat races, swimming competitions and the "cos bar". There are also musical performances every night at the port and awards are given for the Illustration and literature competitions which, as every year, are organized in collaboration with the schools CEIP Sant Jordi and IES Mare de Déu de la Candelera. High Mass in honor of Sant Pere Pescador is also celebrated, from nine in the evening of the 29th, and leads on to the maritime procession, a procession which every year is visited by numerous visitors who come to enjoy this event.
For many years in our village, 29 to be exact, the streets have been decorated with the traditional "Corpus Catifes". A tradition which year after year brings an increasingly number of visitors to enjoy this event. After several weeks picking flowers, the 5 groups of people from La Cala (Ametlla de Mar) who are responsible for laying the Carpets, get to work overnight on Saturday so that during the whole of Sunday people can visit. Traditionally, around 7 pm, when celebrating Corpus procession, the children who this year have made their First Communion walk over the carpets.
The Candelera, Carnivals Ametlla de Mar
As elsewhere in Catalonia, Ametlla de Mar celebrates February 2nd, Festival of Candlemas, and as in all similar celebrations, the primary motivation is religious devotion to the patron saint, the Virgin of the Candlemas .
Although today the religious sense of the party has been reduced, it’s true that Ametlla de Mar has a particular devotion to the patron, which gives meaning to the procession in his honour which is held the evening of February 2 where caleros pay homage through the main streets of the village with a candle (atxa) held in the hand.
The solemnity of the procession, which peaks when it arrives at the port, is traditionally marked by the presence of many curious visitors and people from nearby counties and other parts of Catalonia.
Traditions evolve but the meaning is the same. This same has happened with the young men and women responsible for carrying Candelera during the procession. Until the 80s, the responsibility was limited to young men who had completed military service during the year. Currently its is divided between the "quintos", boys and girls who during the year turned 20, and that apart from carrying the Mary they become, along with the "heiresses", the stars of the fiesta.
But the tradition of The Candelera is not limited to the religious sentiment, but unfolds in any of the areas of the Calera society, with cuisine being one of the most important parts, with native sweets, the "pastissets" and the "corassons" an accompaniment to any well prepared table.
Popular culture is represented throughout the celebrations with music from brass bands and the esteemed presence of Nanos, which are popular imaginary characters brought to life. Giants rome the streets such as Sant George and the Dragon, along with Pere and La Candelera, a couple of giants with the name of the local patron saints, leading the parade, although most popular part is the floral offering to the patron, also on February 2nd.
Women's Day, where the women rule the village, and the day of the senior people (older people), in which retirees share a fellowship meal, are other traditions that have been introduced in the last 30 years and have become firmly established among the "caleros and caleras."
Music festivals, public drinks parties, sports activities and exhibitions come together during the festival in which the afternoons come alive with one the oldest traditions, dancing in the square and the raffle for the last
I went a few times to this maritime fair which is taking more consistency and more visitors. The walk Bulli in port activity and made a show of crews Estrop Vent, Cambrils rowers on their Catalan boats could not miss a post paella where seniors crowded and there were many activities. There was also scheduled departures on catamaran sailboats and fishing courses for beginners and diving. There was also selling second hand boats and points about water sports. That said, a great atmosphere, because it is not crowded in summer, and a contest increasingly consolidated.
Santa Coloma de Queralt (Tarragona) is a very old village with a castle of the Counts of Queralt, sources of the counts, Romanesque churches, a Jewish quarter and a famous festival, the Feast of the Chapel of St Magi. Every Monday there is a market in the town square.
This is definitely the best part of Semana Santa in Tarragona and one of the best in Catalonia as a whole. It's the oldest procession the region and a festival of national touristic interest (it's supposedly even going to be declared to be of international interest). More than 3,000 people bring this procession to life via 20 different “pasos” (a company of faithful carrying an altar and icon). The festivities begin in the morning when a route is made by all the major churches of the city to gather the pasos. Following the procession is actually a great way to see Tarragona's churches in one sitting. It's also interesting to learn a little bit about the history of each paso and its icon. Many of the icons have had to be rebuilt various times because the originals were burnt or destroyed. Even the rebuilt ones are old, though, and they're true treasures of local history. At midday and early afternoon, the festivities move through Plaza del Rey. It's an especially good moment to see the procession because it goes up a steep hill and the participants start walking faster and faster before arriving nearly at a full-on run. All the while, they’re being cheered on by the surrounding crowd. In the evening, the procession reaches its zenith, with all the pasos and their icons and flags on full display. The best way to see the procession at this point is from the top steps of the Cathedral. You'll be able to see the entire procession as it passes by the Cathedral and the Carrer Major.
Here are all the pasos, their icons, and their order in the procession:
Bandera Negra de la Real y Venerable Congregación de la Purísima Sangre y matracas - Aspirantes del Gremio de Mareantes carrying “La Santa Cena” - Asociación La Salle carrying “La Oración del Huerto” and “Velad y Orad” - Cofradía de Pescadores carrying “El Prendimiento de Jesús” - Aspirantes de la Real y Venerable Congregación de la Purísima Sangre carrying “La Flagelación” - Cofradía del Cristo del Buen Amor y Nuestra Señora de la Amargura con San Juan Evangelista carrying “Cristo del Buen Amor” and “Nuestra Señora de la Amargura con San Juan Evangelista” - Hermandad del Santo EcceHomo carrying “Ecce Homo” - Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús de la Pasión carrying “Jesús de la Pasión” - Real Hermandad de Jesús Nazareno carrying “El Cireneo” or “Primera Caída de Jesús,” “Jesús de Nazaret” or “La Verónica,” and “Jesús es despojado de sus vestiduras” - Real y Venerable Congregación de la Purísima Sangre de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo aka “Cruz de los Penitentes” aka “Cruz de los Improperios" carrying “Cristo de la Humillación”, “Primera Caída” or “Cristo de los Penitentes” - Santo Cristo de la Sangre - Congregación del Venerado Cuerpo de Jesucristo en el Descendimiento de la Cruz carrying “Descendimiento de la Cruz” - Gremio de Labradores de San Lorenzo y San Isidro carrying “La Piedad” - Ilustre Cofradía de San Magín Mártir, from Barcelona, carrying “El Retorno del Calvario” - Gremio de Mareantes carrying “El Santo Entierro” with a flank of Roman soldiers - Gremio de Labradores de San Lorenzo y San Isidro carrying “El Santo Sepulcro” and a flank of Roman soldiers - Congregación de Señoras de la Virgen de la Soledad carrying “La Soledad” - Bandera principal de la Real y Venerable Congregación de la Purísima Sangre de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo - The Archbishop of Tarragona and his followers - Presidencia de la Real y Venerable Congregación de la Purísima Sangre de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo and Presidente de la Agrupación de Asociaciones de la Semana Santa de Tarragona - Corporación Municipal - Autoridades Provinciales - Banda Unión Musical de Tarragona.