Salamanca Events, Fiestas and Festivals
(Salamanca, Castilla y León, Spain)
Each year, Salamanca offers a considerable calendar of events, with many notable annual celebrations. The most popular festivals in Salamanca include lively carnivals each February, the Muestra Nacional de Jazz (National Jazz Festival) at the beginning of March, Salamanca's Holy Week festivities at Easter, and the Corpus Christi festival in June - which is based around the Old Cathedral.
A number of additional events also take place at nearby cities, towns and villages, close to Salamanca, including the Romeria de la Virgen del Castanar in September, which is held in El Castanar and attracts thousands of visitors from the Salamanca area.
National Public Holidays
- 1st January - Ano Nuevo / New Year's Day
- 5th January - Epifania / Epiphany
- 19th March - Dia de San José / St. Joseph's Day
- Late March or early April - Jueves Santo / Maundy Thursday
- Late March or early April - Viernes Santo / Good Friday
- 1st May - Fiesta del Trabajo / Labour Day
- 15th August - La Asunción / Feast of the Assumption
- 12th October - Nacional de Espana / National Day
- 1st November - Todos los Santos / All Saints' Day
- 6th December - Dia de la Constitución / Constitution Day
- 8th December - La Inmaculada Concepción / Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- 25th December - Navidad / Christmas Day
Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015
- Cabalgata de los Reyes (Three Holy Kings / Wise Men) - January 5th, with three local individuals dressed as kings, parading around the streets of Salamanca, distributing gifts and sweets to crowds of local children.
- El Códex - early January, a major week-long university fiesta with many lively student events and parades, where law students in Salamanca remember San Raimundo de Peafort, their patron saint.
- Matanza de Guijuelo - mid to late January, a range of pork-related festivities held in nearby Guijuelo, just 48 km / 30 miles from Salamanca. Centered around the main public plaza in Guijuelo, highlights include local cuisine, pig slaughtering and food stalls.
- Las Candelas - early February, major folk celebrations in nearby Candelario, which stands around 72 km / 45 miles from Salamanca, with many local festivities, including a charity auction, gastronomic events and a vibrant atmosphere.
- Carnaval del Toro (Carnival of the Bull) - early February, a range of festivities involving young bulls, fancy dress and parades, in nearby Ciudad Rodrigo, around 89 km / 55 miles from the city of Salamanca.
- Carnaval - early February, the popular Salamanca Carnival consists of numerous parades and festivities in various regions of the city, together with concerts, dancing and plenty of evening entertainment.
- Las Calendas - early February, annual celebrations held in nearby Ciudad Rodrigo, standing around 89 km / 55 miles from Salamanca.
- Fiestas de San Juan - early February, with a varied programme of events in and around Salamanca, including performances by magicians and general street entertainers, culminating in a fireworks display and evening bonfires.
- Muestra Nacional de Jazz (National Jazz Festival) - mid-February / early March, an impressive and extremely popular jazz event with concerts taking place all over Salamanca, including many international jazz musicians, attracting large crowds of visitors to the city.
- Holy Week - late-March / early April, a massive Easter event in Salamanca, consisting of week-long celebrations both around the city and in neighbouring towns and villages.
- Semana Santa - early April, a notable religious festival remembering the death of Christ, part of Salamanca's Holy Week and related Easter celebrations.
- Dia del Libro (International Book Day) - late April / early May, an important and historic literary event based around the central and spacious Plaza Mayor, where a large number of books are both bought and sold, with plenty of bargains available. Theatrical performances for children are also available, as well as live music, book readings and puppet shows.
- Festival de Música Religiosa (Religious Music Festival) - late April, numerous classical concerts held every other day leading up to Easter, often performed in both San Benito and San Martin Churches.
- Lunes de Aguas (Lenten Festival / Monday of the Waters) - early May, an unusual event where local prostitutes pray to the Virgen de la Salud, together with theatrical events and fasting for lent.
- Jazz en la Calle (Jazz in the Streets) - June, July and August, a series of free jazz concerts held at notable venues around the city of Salamanca, partly organised by the Salamanca Association of Jazz Musicians and Friends, and including many outdoor events, attracting large crowds.
- Salón del Caballo - early June, offering all things equestrian, including horse shows and competitions, cattle driving, exhibitions and many horse-related stalls, located on the outskirts of Salamanca.
- Festival Taurino de las Hermanitas de los Pobres (Bullfighting Festival of the Hermanitas) - mid-June, a historic bullfighting festival dating back to the mid-20th century, with a number of side show attractions and food stalls.
- Feast day of St. John of Sahagún - June 12th, religious event celebrating the city's patron saint, St. John of Sahagún, with a range of entertainment on offer throughout the city.
- Corpus Christi - June 18th, a prominent Spanish celebration centred around the Old Cathedral (Catedral Vieja), with street parties and puppetry.
- Festival de Cante Flamenco - late June, a spectacle of Flamenco music and dancing, which gains popularity each year, being particularly appealing to tourists visiting the Salamanca area.
- Encuentros de Verano (Summer Encounters) - early July, cultural activities, workshops, music events, film screenings and exhibitions in a number of villages surrounding Salamanca.
- Las Noches del Fonseca (Nights of the Fonseca) - early July, outdoor summer theatrical event, with dance, music and a host of other open-air activities.
- Fiestas of St. James the Apostle - late July / early August, celebrated with bull running around the streets, together with bullfights and fireworks.
- Fiestas de la Asunción - mid-August, a traditional festival held in the nearby mountain village of La Alberca, within easy reach of Salamanca, featuring young bulls, dances, music and fairground rides.
- Feria de Teatro de Ciudad Rodrigo - late August, regional theatre groups and performers arrive at Calle del Castillo, close to Salamanca, to perform their varied shows.
- Fiestas del Toro (Bull Festival) - late August, a celebration involving young bulls and plenty of local cuisine, held in Aldeadávila de la Ribera, around 117 km / 73 miles from Salamanca, with the journey taking around one and a half hours.
- Pena de Francia Shrine Pilgrimage - early September, a pilgrimage to the Pena de Francia Shrine in Salamanca.
- Romeria de la Virgen del Castanar - mid-September, an important religious event attracting thousands of people, who come to nearby El Castanar to visit the Mirador de la Virgen, known for its superb views.
- Cultural Salamanca - October to June, with many touring musicals and theatre companies arriving and Salamanca's Juan del Enzina to perform their shows.
- Fiestas de Santa Teresa - early October, notable local festival held in nearby Alba de Tormes, which is situated around 22 km / 14 miles from Salamanca, celebrating the famous nun, Santa Teresa de Jesús, who died during the late 16th century.
- La Hora del Cuento (Hour of the Story) - early October, storytelling for young children, held at several libraries (bibliotecas) around the city.
- Dia de la Hispanidad / National Day Festival - October 12th, a festival celebrating all things Spanish, held at various venues around Salamanca and throughout Spain on the Nacional de Espana public holiday.
- Feast of St. Teresa in Alba de Tormes - mid-October, religious event held each year during the middle of October.
- Muestra Provincial de Teatro Lauro Olmo - mid-November, a popular theatrical event which takes place every other year and attracts a variety of actors and theatrical groups.
- La Horca - late December, a local event for young 18-year-olds in nearby Valdecarros, which is located around 32 km / 20 miles from Salamanca, with many traditional rituals and crowds of spectators.