As you may know, some of the world’s most traditional and best festivals take place in Spain and France. During the summer, when the temperatures rise, the streets of these two countries become filled with people celebrating all sorts of things. Don’t worry about having to miss out on any of the fun- Renfe-SNCF en Coopération’s new high speed trains between Spain and France will take you from city to city, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the festivities!
LA FESTA MAJOR DE GRÀCIA
Picture from Plaça de la Vila, Festes de Gràcia - http://www.festamajordegracia.cat/
Celebrated annually in this picturesque neighborhood of Barcelona, the Festa Major de Gracia is a weeklong street celebration starting August 15th. Due to the narrow streets and village feel, this very popular festival makes everyone feel like they’re part of a community. This is Barcelona’s biggest, most colorful neighborhood festival, and most all of the activities are communal.
Big tables are set up in the streets so neighbors and visitors alike can all eat together, and the decorated streets are filled with all sorts of things for the family- including friendly game competitions, workshops, sports, concerts, and more. Attracting over a half million visitors each year, this festival has been declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest. Check out these 10 picture perfect places to keep your celebration spirits high!
VERANOS DE LA VILLA
Veranos de la Villa Poster, Madrid - http://www.veranosdelavilla.com/
An annual festival event held in Madrid from the 1st of July to the 31st of August, The Veranos de La Villa is a multi-week event in the capital that hosts an enormous span of cultural activities for the city. This festival’s events take place all across Madrid, including the major venues of the city, and boasts an impressive program including all possible artistic genres. All types of performing arts are displayed- from theatre performances ranging from amateur to professional, as well as almost daily concerts of every type of music.
Madrid transforms into a gigantic state for hundreds of open-air cultural events. Events are not just limited to theatre and concerts, as dance, zarzuela, opera, and cinema are also exhibited. There absolutely is something here for everyone- of all ages and all tastes! Hungry from all the celebrating? Here are the best places in Madrid to enjoy the traditional cocidomadrileño!
LA FÊTE DE LA MUSIQUE
Percussionists in Paris, Fête de la Musique
Also known as World Music Day or Make Music Day, this festival takes place annually on June 21 in Paris, France. This celebration originated by Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture, and is essentially an all day long musical celebration during the days of solstice. This festival first took place in 1982, and has since become an international phenomenon- now celebrated in over 700 cities in 120 countries across the world. The purpose of Fête de La Musique is to promote music- all types welcome!
Professional and amateur musicians alike are encouraged to give street performances, and free concerts are organized all across the city, allowing for all genres of music to be available to the public. Want to celebrate with a view? Be sure to see these top 10 viewpoints in Paris!
Military parade in Paris, Fête Nationale
More commonly known as Bastille Day, this national day commemorates the storming of Bastille, an important even in Paris during the revolution, celebrated every July 14. Festivities include the French military parade that is held on the morning of July 14 every year since 1880
. Other large scale events take place, including communal meals, musical performances, balls, dances, and of course, spectacular firework shows. The festivities last from early morning until late in the night, and the national colors (three bands of blue, white, and red) are displayed everywhere- from the Eifel Tower to the face paint of the children. The city shuts down, and everyone crowds into the streets to celebrate the pride of their country. Relax in one of these 3 parks in Paris to take a break from all the partying!