Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘traditions’ Category

Spain is popular for several things and activities, like for example football, gastronomy, landscape and of course also because of its extraordinary festivals. The ones you already heard about may include La Tomatina, San Fermín, Las Fallas and Carneval. But there are much more you might not heard about yet. One of the maybe craziest ones is the festival Jarramplas in Piornal.

jarramplas cover

Source: Okdiario

Introduction

Every year on the 19th and 20th of January the inhabitants of Piornal, in the region of Cáceres in Extremadura, celebrate the festival Jarramplas for those two days. Jarramplas is the name of a devil-like character, a guy who dresses up in colourful clothes and wearing a conical mask with two horns and a big nose. He goes around the city and people try to hit him with turnips.

Piornal

Piornal is a Spanish municipality in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura. Extremadura is a region in the west of Spain, with borders to Portugal. The town is located in the community of Valle del Jerte and has a population of around 1550 people.

History

This festival is an old tradition of which its history is still doubtful. There are three different explanations for its origin, told and believed among the residents of the village. The first one says, that the Jarramplas was a Christian warrior despised by people for passing during the Muslim domination. Myth number two states that the guy was a martyr, which got killed by Jewish for not denying Christianity. The third, and the most commonly believed legend tells the story of a devil-like character, who stole and killed cattle of the inhabitants and got punished for that.

The tradition

The funnily dressed Jarramplas gets ready for his challenge from the 19th to the 20th of January every year. In the morning he puts on his costume, a colourful armor on his body and a mask, which represents the helmet. Underneath this costume the person puts on protection wear, because the aim of this festival is for the visitors and inhabitants to hit the guy with turnips.

jarramplas prodection

Source: IB Times

The chosen one is every year someone else and always a person living in the neighbourhood. His mission is to make a tour through the streets of Piornal while playing his tambourine. During his tour, the neighbours, inhabitants and tourists punish him by throwing vegetables on him. The Jarramplas tries to resist those hits and his goal is to be able to stand the punishment as long as possible.

jarramplas fighting

Source: IB Times

For the actors of this figure, it has a high importance to keep walking as long as possible, since this festival is very meaningful to the residents of the town. You can recognise the passion for this celebration among all inhabitants. It is such an honour for guys to be Jarramplas, and therefore, parents already sign up their babies for being the figure any day in the future. The waiting list is around 20 years to be able to act as the character.

The importance nowadays

Within the last few years, the festival became a huge hype and gained more interest among national and international people. Hence, the usage of turnips increased extremely during this time and it is estimated, that around 22 tons of turnips are thrown on the celebration each year.

jarramplas turnips

Source: IB Times

Due to the importance of this celebration, the organisers put a lot of effort in the preparation, which includes the design, preparation and conservation of the costume and mask; the engraving of blackjacks and tambourines and the protection of the facades of the town to withstand the rain of turnips.

jarramplas protection for walls

Source: Bloomberg

Jarramplas has become one of the most recognizable festive icons of Extremadura and the most internationally famous character of Valle del Jerte. Tradition, excitement and joy flood Piornal every January inviting the visitor to delve into the rites, stories and legends of this ancient and curious festival now turned into a Festival of National Tourist Interest.

To get the ultimate and most authentic experience of this Spanish tradition get there and attend together with indigenous people the amazing flair of the festival. If you have interest, contact us for more information and check out our tailored package for Jarramplas.

map

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Christmas is coming closer and cities in Spain are getting ready for this festive time already. This worldwide known and celebrated event is the most important time for the majority of Spaniards. Due to their focus on religion people are very passionate about Christmas and have many traditions and important dates during this time.

Christmas cover

Source: Madrid Easy

Typical rituals and tradition

Spanish people have lots of different traditions, rituals and celebrations during Christmas time.

Christmas markets: Christmas markets are very popular in Spain, therefore every larger city has at least one during advent time. With lots of decorations and lights they are worth a visit. People go there to buy piles of fruits, flowers, marzipan and other sweets, candles, decorations and hand-made gifts. Two of the most famous are the market in Plaza Mayor, in Madrid and Fira de Santa Llucía in Barcelona.

christmas 1

Source: Time Out

Christmas village: Like the Christmas tree, the display of Bethlehem and the crib has a high importance for Spanish people. Every Spaniard, celebrating Christmas has one in them home and in Madrid, at the squares Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, they put up huge cribs which are displayed to the public.

Winter wonderland: In Barcelona, the theme park Portaventure turns into a Winter wonderland in Christmas time and you will even be able to watch ice shows, go to Christmas festivals and Christmas Parades.

christmas 2

Source: Portaventura

Christmas lights: What would be Christmas without beautiful decoration and colourful lights? The cities in Spain put on a lot of wonderful lights on the main roads and squares to make them shine. You can get the perfect Christmas lights experience when you go with the Christmas Tour Bus in Madrid. It drives in the evening and passes by all the main places which are decorated and lightened up.

Food: Even if you are not the biggest Christmas fan, you will enjoy Spain during this time. The food they serve for Christmas and the sweets they eat during this time are even richer and sweeter than usually. The biggest family meals take place on Christmas Eve and on the 6th of December (Three Kings Day). Typical dishes on these days include roasted lamb, roasted pig, various seafood soups, salad, and any kind of tapas. Traditional sweets are Turrón (almond nougat), marzipan, glacé fruits, mantecados (traditional powdery sweets), Roscón de Reyes (a large ring-shaped bun eaten on January 6th).

christmas 3

Source: Pura Aventura

Calendar of Christmas time:

December the 8th – Immaculada (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) is the official beginning of Christmas time and is a public holiday in Spain.

December the 21st – It is the shortest day of the year and gets celebrated with Hogueras, which are bonfires.

December the 22nd – The 22nd of December is the due date of the draw of the big Christmas lottery. The first prize is called El Gordo, the fat one. On that day everybody is sitting in front of the TV with crossed fingers.

December the 24th – Noche Buena, Christmas Eve is celebrated with friends and the family. People come together to get drinks and dinner. Some kids already get a first present from Santa Clause.

December the 25th – On Christmas Day traditionally families come together and have lunch.

December the 28th – Santos Inocentes, Holy Innocents day is like April Fools’ Day. People try to trick each other with stories and jokes.

December the 31st –Nochevieja, the New Year’s Eve is celebrated big in Spain. The best places to be are definitely Madrid at the square Puerta del Sol and in Barcelona at the square in front of the fountain Fuente de Montjuïc. At midnight there is a special ritual: 12 strokes before midnight everybody starts eating grapes, one per stroke, if you fulfil that successfully, it means you have good luck in the New Year. At 12 o’clock a big firework starts and everybody drinks champagne and kisses at midnight.

christmas 4

Source: Tilllate

January the 1st – Nearly the whole country sleeps on that day and needs rest after the big celebration. It is public holiday in the whole country.

January the 5th – Processions are held all over Spain in the evening and sweets are thrown from the floats to all the people who come out to watch.

January the 6th – Día de los Reyes Magos, the Feast of the Epiphany, Three Kings Day, the day when the 3 Kings arrived in Bethlehem to bring presents to baby Jesus. On this day the long waiting has an end, finally the kids get their gifts in the morning. The whole family and friends get together to have a big lunch and sit together for drinks.

christmas 5

Source: El Estímulo

Not only Spain, but also Portugal has a lot to offer during Christmas time. Lisbon is the perfect example, it is as beautiful as Madrid and Barcelona during this time and all 3 cities are definitely worth visiting.

Are you ready for Christmas? Do not hesitate to contact us for further details about our Christmas packages for Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon.

map

Read Full Post »

The capital of Spain does not only offer great architectural monuments and a lively day- and nightlife, but also a huge variety of typical gastronomic options. If you are coming because of the delicious cuisine or not, you should definitely not miss to spend some time in one of the historic taverns of Madrid. You will find most of them in the centre of the city, in public places like Plaza Mayor or Plaza Santa Ana.

1_cover

Source: Andaremos

 

Sobrino de Botín

The Guinness Book of World Records mentioned Sobrino de Botín once as oldest restaurant in the world. It went through several generations and carries a lot of history in the exterior as well as in the interior. The philosophy also reflects its past and the cuisine is kept traditional with regional products. The legendary restaurant is since back then located close to Plaza Mayor in Calle Chuchilleros.

2_Sobrino de Botin

Source: Wikipedia

 

La Cruzada

Also called the “mother of all Madrid taverns”, La Cruzada was founded in 1827 and you will find it in Plaza Oriente. Back then it was a meeting point for intellectuals and also the Spanish king Alfonso XII used to go there. The whole tavern is coloured in red, which in the 19th century used to mark taverns offering quality wine. Nowadays it still serves great wines as well as Spanish food like croquettes or stews.

Casa Alberto

Going to the street Calle de las Huertas, located close to Plaza Santa Ana you will see the next tavern, which ran through a number of generations and was opened in the same year as La Cruzada, in 1827. Casa Alberto belongs to the most ancient bars of the city. The local government even granted them a plaque in the streets. The cuisine differentiate from the others, it serves avant-garde dishes with a typical regional touch.

Los Galayos

Founded in 1894 under the name “Cevecería Rojo” the tavern starting with only a small bar, offering tapas and aperitifs. Los  Galayos adapted to the needs of habitants and tourists and offers now two terraces and five dining rooms. Perfectly located at Plaza Mayor, you can enjoy the typical Spanish cuisine on the terrace, while having an impressive view of the historical square and the colourful building Casa de la Panadería.

3_los galayos

Source: Redmago

 

Casa Labra

Casa Labra, famous for its croquettes, was opened in 1860 and is located close to Plaza de Sol in Calle Tetuán. The historic building has an ancient façade and an old-style interior, which is divided in a bar and a restaurant. The kitchen focuses of traditional dishes offering a wide variety of tapas.

4_casa labra

Source: Fotomadrid

 

Lhardy

The originally French bakery, Lhardy was established in 1839 by the French man Emilio Huguenin Lhardy, in the street Carrera de San Jerónimo, next to Plaza de Sol. Today it is divided in a shop on the ground floor, selling pastries, cold cuts and food to go, and a fine restaurant with a lot of different salons on the second floor. The cuisine nowadays is a creative and tasty mix out of the Spanish and the French kitchen.

5_lhardy

Source: Wikipedia

 

Having lunch, dinner or just a snack in one of the typical, legendary taverns in Madrid is always worth it. It will give you an additional insight into the past and a feeling of being part of it. The flair, the food and the location is perfect to enjoy some time of your stay there.

carta

Read Full Post »

You are craving for a Hollywood-like food fight and your heart beats faster when thinking about the fruity smell of tomatoes being all over you? Well than you better keep reading, because we have the non-plus-ultra festival for you!

La Tomatina, one of the most famous festivals of Spain, is hosted every year on the last Wednesday of August in Buñol. Thousands of people from all over the world come together to throw millions of over-ripe tomatoes at each other, enjoy a great party and, most importantly, have the time of their lives!

la-tomatina-1

source: Love Valencia

While nobody knows exactly when and where the idea of having a food fight in the centre of a town developed, the most common rumor is about a food fight between friends which escalated in 1945. As some youngsters remembered the event and repeated the messy festival the year after, La Tomatina was forbidden by the city council and local police in the early 50s. After countless protests and imprisonments, the festival became an official festivity of Buñol in 1957 and is loved by everybody ever since then: while in the first years visitors were mainly from Spain, people from all over the world join the festival nowadays.

Prepare yourself for the 30th of August because nobody is going to stay clean! La Tomatina starts at 11 AM and for an hour, you are fighting for yourself against everybody else. Officially, the battle doesn’t start before somebody has climbed a high pole to get the coveted ham at the top. However, the fired water cannons are signal enough to start the fight! While the cleaning progress of the streets is great organized by the city council, only a few public showers are offered and most people find themselves cleaning their clothes in the river.

We won’t lie to you – La Tomatina is a mess, a funny mess, tho. To enjoy the festival to the fullest wear old clothes and closed shoes you are not sad throwing away afterwards. Moreover, leave valuable stuff at home and be respectful with others! One last tip from the professionals: Tuck your shirt into your shorts to always have a clean part to wipe your eyes with!

la-tomatina-7

source: Flores y plantas

You can read as much as you want about La Tomatina – you will never know how it actually feels like being involved in the biggest food fight of the world when you don’t participate. Book now to join us for THE event of the year because tickets are limited and hotels and hostels in Buñol and surrounding often fully booked out weeks before the event happens! Believe us: you will have the time of your life!

la-tomatina-mapa

Read Full Post »

“When we reached the battlefield it was already purple and full of empty wine cartons. The sun was unrelenting and it was hard to differentiate between friends and enemy because out there – there are no rules.” It sounds like it is time for the battle of the year again, because the battle of wine is back in Haro and we are thirstier than ever for red wine!

battle-of-wine-1

source: decanter

Originating from the days back in the 13th century when the city Haro had to defend itself against its neighbors in Miranda de Ebro to stay independent, the battle of wine is a hundreds of years old tradition. After a mass on the 29th of June in 1710, the first battle of wine occurred at the Bilibio cliffs and ever since then, people celebrate this day with pouring wine on each other.

Even though, the festivity is celebrated on the Feast Day of St Peter, you will barely find a local being aware of this Feast Day. The so-called Battle of Wine, known as Batalla del Vino in Spanish is all about wine, people and drinking and has made the small city Haro in La Rioja world famous.

battle-of-wine-2

source: The Independent

Although, the battle of wine is the most important act of the festival, the celebrations are going on for almost a week, starting on Saturday night with wine, fun and partying. Meet up with your friends at the town square, the centre of the celebrations on Saturday to drink, eat and enjoy the great vibes.

The actual battle is on the 29th of June and you have to get up early to participate: starting with a procession at 7 AM at the cliffs of Bilibio like in the old days, the crowd continues to the “battlefield of wine” right afterwards. Take a bus for the first part of the road and prepare yourself to walk the last kilometre as the buses cannot turn there.

battle-of-wine-3

source: Tasting Europe

No rules are set during the fight: Whether you want to use buckets, wineskins or sprayers; as long as it can hurl thousands of liters of wine all over the crowd it is perfect for the fight. Bear in mind that the battle is like a playground to locals: no matter how hard you hit them, they know thousands of ways to get you back even worse. Survive the battle by wearing googles – red wine can be painful and remember that you are a guest during this festivities: the festival is made by locals and for locals and while there are already a lot of tourists, the battle of wine has not lost its original flair yet.

battle-of-wine-4-_cover

source: Daily Mail

At midday, when everybody is purple from head to toe and it is sure that nobody can get rid of the smell for the next few days, the crowd heads back to Plaza de la Paz to celebrate with great food and more wine. Finish off the day with a bullfight in the arena whereby no animal is killed!

battle-of-wine-5

source: Decanter.com

It is no surprise that the festival is celebrated in Haro where 40 % of the entire La Rioja region’s vineyards are situated and wine is running though the veins of the locals. However, there are more must-sees in Spain for wine lovers. To give examples, Ribera de Duero and the region Valdepeñas are world famous for their long history of producing quality wine.

No matter if it’s the dirty wine battle or a classy wine route which fascinate you – Spain offers both. Contact us now to get more information about our wine programs and fall in love with the unique taste of Spanish quality wine when traveling to one of the most famous wine regions in the world!

battle-of-wine-mapa

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »