The south of Spain is ready for a party anytime. Malaga is no exception. Year round there are a number of fantastic cultural events that bring the city to a fevered pitch in tradition, celebration and reverence. If you're lucky enough to visit at the right time, festivals these events cannot be missed!
Malaga Carnival takes place during February or March every year, it marks the lead up to Lent. The Carnival is a good excuse for people to let loose and indulge before the frugal Lent period arrives. The Carnival includes parades of costumed dancers and streams of performers, and characters in mask, the most famous of these performances are the traditional ¨murga¨ (street bands) temporary stages are set up in Plaza del Carbon, Plaza de los Martires, and Plaza de los Flores, to host the performances, which often go on until the small hours of the following morning. The parade reaches its peak on the last Sunday of the celebrations. The parade travels from Esperanza Bridge to La Malagueta beach, where the traditional "burial of the sardine" takes place, to mark the end of their indulgence, and a movement into Lent.
The Night of San Juan is said to be magical and enchantedand takes place on the 23rd of June, marking the Summer Solstice. At Midnight on the 23rd, figurines called Juas (usually charicatures of public figures) stuffed with flammable substances such as paper and sawdust are burned on a bonfire. It is not uncommon for participants to bring old furniture to burn, to keep the fire going. As the fire subsides, a competition begins, people begin to jump across the remaining flames, whilst others continue to dance around the fire. There are myths which say that if you bath in the sea at Midnight you will receive eternal beauty, but then, many people look better wet anyways.
The month of October marks the anniversary of the birth of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. To celebrate this anniversary a series of conferences, art exhibitions, concerts, and competitions are hosted across the city. Popular activities are put together by The Pablo Ruiz Picasso Foundation and Malaga Town Hall. Each year they try to focus on a different aspect of Picasso's work. At the end of the celebrations, a grant is awarded to an aspiring artist.
The celebration of La Semana Santa is a tradition across the southern Spain. It celebrates the different stages of the Via Crucis (the way of Christ). It is one of the busiest weeks in Malaga's calendar, the city becomes enveloped in cheerful music and good spirit. To mark the event, all of the Hermandades (Fraternities) of Malaga take their journey of penitence through the city they carry with them large floats holding images of Christ and the Virgin. The floats have been known to weigh up to 5 tons, and are carried by Hombres de Tronos (the throne men) across the city in full public view, it is quite a sight to behold.
The procession of La Virgen de la Victoria is celebrated on the 8th September every year. It marks the victory of Ferdinand and Isabel´s victory over the Moors. The occasion is marked by a speech, typically given at midday by a local celebrity, followed by a procession from Nuestra Señora de la Victoria Church, to the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall).
This is the celebration of the Epiphany, on the 5th and 6th of January. It takes place in the City Centre. At 5pm on the 5th January, the Kings arrive at the port, and a child reads to them a letter, requesting gifts for all the children in Malaga. Then the parade begins, it travels from Paseo del Parque to the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), with a series of floats passing through the streets, carrying Los Reyes (The Kings) Gaspar, Melchior and Baltasar, they lead the parade, whilst throwing small gifts and sweets into the crowds for the children. The occasion is marked by 12 festive processions and 5 bands. After the parade, a festival takes place - organised by the post office with a series of colourful performers.