Instituto Cervantes, the Spanish Cultural Centre in Dublin (Lincoln House, Lincoln Place. Dublin 2) dedicated to promote Spanish and Latin-American languages and cultures, invites you to El Día E, our big celebration of Spanish language. Do not miss our spectacular programme and join us on Saturday 22nd from 11am to 6 pm. Music, food tasting from Spain and South America, free Spanish classes, activities for children and much, much more!!! For more information, please visit: http://dublin.blogs.cervantes.es/2013/06/19/cultural-day-el-dia-e-dia-cultural-el-dia-e/

In June, fire is a very important element to celebrate the arrival of summer in the Fires of San Juan in Alicante and Fire walk- The Móndidas in San Pedro Manrique (Soria). July brings the celebration of the famous San Fermines in Pamplona and the festivities celebrated in honour of St James in Santiago de Compostela and finally August, the worldwide known Tomatina in Buñuel, among others. Come and experience them for yourself. Fire walk. The Móndidas (San Pedro Manrique, Soria). 23th - 24th June It is said that only local townsfolk can complete the walk without being burned. Each year on 23 June, Midsummer night's eve, this ritual takes place in the town of San Pedro Manrique, in Soria. It consists of crossing the live coals of a meticulously prepared bonfire barefoot. The bonfire is lit at 9:00 at night with 2,000 kilos of oak wood, which burns easily and does not form lumps. At around 11:30, the carpet-like path of red-hot coals is prepared by smoothing them with poles called 'hoguneros'. Young men dance around the fire, and exactly at midnight everything is ready to begin the walk across the carpet. Ten to twelve young men are chosen to do this, and they generally carry someone on their shoulders, since the extra weight avoids combustion. They try to ensure that the coals contain no ashes or hard objects; thanks to these precautions they never get burned. Women dressed in white (called "móndidas"), carrying wicker baskets and long breadsticks ("arbujuelos"), walk in a procession. One of them, the most important one, offers the first "arbujuelo" to the priest. According to some, these women represent ancient Celtiberian priestesses. Fires of San Juan (Alicante). 24th June Alicante celebrates the arrival of summer with the Bonfires of San Juan. In an atmosphere of music, colour, fireworks and extravagance, thousands of people throng the streets to experience this fiesta which pays tribute to fire. The festivities officially begin on 20 June with the building of enormous bonfires with their tongue-in-cheek cardboard figures which fill the streets of Alicante with wit and good humour. On 21 June the parade of musical groups and the various bonfire committees takes place, with their respective "beauties" and the maids of honour dressed in traditional costumes. The following day there is a floral offering to the city's patron saint, the Virgen del Remedio; and on 23 June there is the international folkloric dance parade, a colourful procession of dance troupes from all around the world. In addition, every day at two in the afternoon from 20 to 24 June, there are firework displays in the Luceros square: the ear-splitting "mascletás", which should be seen wearing ear-plugs because of the racket of the firecrackers and rockets." But the fiesta is not over yet. From 25 to 29 June there is a fireworks competition on the el Postiguet beach, and the historic centre of the town comes alive with a medieval market and a range of shows. July And the best thing is that the party doesn't stop when the lights come up. There are also improvised concerts and performances in the streets. At night, the high spirits continue until dawn, and at the campsite there's always time to make friends, particularly in the specially installed tent for music, food and drink. Habaneras and Polyphony International Contest, Torrevieja (Alicante). 22nd - 28th July First celebrated in 1955, this contest has become a way to spread the music and the culture of this region of Spain, which is characterized by a great scenario: an incomparable climate that envelops a landscape full of sunny beaches, one of Torrevieja's most important lure. This contest means, both for locals and visitors, a great pleasure as it represent a worldwide show with regard to choir singing, especially concerning Habaneras. Each year, there are more the one thousand musicians and singers attending this event, with an audience of around ten thousand people. These choirs come from different parts of the world, and they all perform their shows outdoors, with the sea watching them very near, as another member of the audience. Fiesta in honour of Saint James the Apostle. 25th July The festivities celebrated in honour of the patron saint of Spain and Galicia reach their peak during the so-called "Fuego del Apóstol" (Apostle's Fireworks), the Offering to the Saint and the exciting ceremony when the "Botafumeiro" is swung in the Cathedral. According to legend, it was the discovery of the remains of Saint James the Apostle that led to the creation of the Galician capital. Santiago de Compostela would soon become a holy city on a par with Jerusalem and Rome, as well as a site of pilgrimage that eventually gave rise to the "Way of Saint James", which nowadays has World Heritage status. The feast day of Saint James is 25 July, but the festivities start some ten days earlier with the presentation of a full programme of exhibitions, theatre performances, street theatre and concerts. At 12 noon on 24 July, the cathedral bells ring out as a taste of the event that will occur that night. The Plaza del Obradoiro square fills with light and colour in a spectacle that transports visitors to a magical world: the fireworks in honour of the Apostle are accompanied by incredible pyrotechnical effects that represent the Gothic façade of the Cathedral. Regional dances and bagpipes are also part of the festivities. Concerts and open-air celebrations fill every part of the city to celebrate Saint James's Day. The Offering to the Saint and the Botafumeiro take place inside the Cathedral. The latter is a large ceremonial incense burner that is swung vigorously over the smaller crossing, filling it with the smell of incense. August Exhibition Festival Cante de las Minas (La Unión, Murcia). 1st - 10th August First celebrated in 1961, the International Festival El Cante de las Minas, held in La Unión (Murcia) during the month of August, represents the most important Flamenco event worldwide. This place becomes a wonderful window to show great exhibitions of chants, dance, guitar playing… And each day there are also complementary activities such as debates, photography, sculpture exhibitions or chats and debates. Sella white water canoeing (Ribadesella and Arriondas, Asturias). 3rd August Canoeing and kayaking, in all their forms, find their best setting in Spain's network of rivers. Not in vain has the Sella River in Asturias become the world's most famous course due to the sports and leisure activities held there, such as the International Descent of the Sella. International white water canoeing through El Sella is held the first Saturday in August, excluding the 1st and 2nd of the same month. It takes place between Arriondas and Ribadesella, two beautiful towns in Asturias, and it goes 20 kilometers over the Sella River. Competitors may be Spanish or foreign paddlers and must be in possession of the license year competition for at least 60 days before this date. This event has become very popular last year, the event gathered around 300.000 visitors. The White Virgin festival (Vitoria, Basque Country). 4th - 9th August The festival is celebrated, from the 4th to the 9th August, in honor of the Virgen Blanca and has been held since 1884. The welcome act takes place in the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, located in the heart of the city, where thousands of visitors crowd Vitoria (similar to Chupinazo in Pamplona). The celebration starts with "the Fall of Celedon", a dummy representing an ancient villager who crosses the Plaza through a pulley system. The "blusas" are the major figures of the event, Vitorian groups who dress in traditional costumes and take part in many outdoors activities. Misterio de Elche religious theatre (Elche, Alicante). 11th-15th August This religious representation has been designated Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It is a lyric drama of medieval origins that has been staged since the 13th century, one of the customary representations of the Assumption in Mediterranean Europe. The play is based on several texts from the Apocryphal Gospels, quite popular during the Middle Ages. The text is written in the Valencian language, apart from a psalm and a few verses in Latin, and it has a total of 259 verses. The musical part offers the most noteworthy characteristics. The melodies come from different periods being added to by different composers. This extraordinary religious drama, the only living example of primitive lyric theatre, is also the only one in the world to be staged inside a church - the Santa María Basilica - thanks to a special dispensation granted by Pope Urban VIII. Tomatina (Buñuel, Valencia). 28st August The origins of this mass tomato battle date back to a fight amongst children in 1945 and it has been celebrated every year since then. The "Tomatina" is held on the last Wednesday in August in the town of Buñol. This unusual fiesta brings together crowds of people every year, ready to have a great time of laugher and fun, hurling tomatoes at each other. Participants at this joyful pitched battle have a wonderful time throwing tomatoes at anything that moves. It gets underway at 9am, in the town square, with rolls and pastries provided for breakfast by the Town Hall. Little by little, the square fills with people. Before the battle, a huge pole is erected. It is covered with soap and has a leg of ham on the end. The most daring try to climb as high as possible to get their hands on the prize, to the general delight of onlookers. Meanwhile, buckets of water are launched from balconies, soaking the people as they prepare for battle. At 11 o'clock a shot is fired to announce the start of the fight, and from the end of the street, the first truckload of "ammunition" appears, sounding its horn. Those riding on board the truck throw the first tomatoes. Finally, the vehicle stops and unloads its cargo, and the crowd rushes forward to stock up on "bullets". Within a few seconds, everything turns red. Trucks loaded with tomatoes arrive one after another, until a second shot is fired signalling the end of the battle. Now comes the difficult task of washing down the brave participants with hoses - they are already thinking of next years "Tomatina". For further information: http://www.tomatina.es/ "Horse Races" on the beach (Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz). 2nd - 4th and 16th - 18th August Don't miss out this Horse Racing, the greatest show on the beaches of the South, located at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. It represents the traditional standing as a summer event of Andalucía, and in the last years it has been catching the growing attention of the international media.

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