September is a great time to visit Spain and there are plenty of exciting festivals in September to choose from.
Some of the highlights of this month include the San Sebastian film festival, the Rioja grape harvest and stomp festival, La Mercè as well as Tarragona’s Santa Tecla festival.
Film Festival in San Sebastian – 23rd to 30th September ( 2017 ) dates are variable
Many actors owe their success in film to this annual meet which was established in 1953. The San Sebastian film festival is by its own right one of the most important film cinematic celebrations of the year. Since its inception, some of the most iconic actors have graced the festival including Sigourney Weaver, Paul Verhoeven, Isabelle Huppert, Jennifer Connelly, Ewan McGregor and many more.
It is top notch as far as fiestas Spain go and is worth checking out if you plan to visit the Basque country in September.
Rioja Wine Harvest Festival – 20th to 25th September
La Rioja wine festival
Logrono is the capital of the world renowned wine region of La Rioja in northern Spain, each year they celebrate the proceeds of the first harvest which is offered to La Rioja’s patron Our Lady of Valvanera.
The festival falls on the 21st of September which celebrates the feast of San Mateo of Logrono.
Head down to the Paseo de Espolon in the heart of the city to enjoy the main festivities and the ceremony where grapes are carried from the local vineyards by children and poured into large wine barrels. The grapes are then pressed by men dressed in traditional clothing in a large wooden tub.
While the men work hard to appease the saint, the rest of the town is normally engrossed in revelry including gastronomic tastings, theatre, live music concerts as well as bullfighting.La Mercè Festival Barcelona – 22nd to 25th September
The Human Towers Barcelona
La Merce festival is the biggest in Barcelona and includes numerous live concerts, parades, fireworks and the famous human towers. This is Barcelona’s way of ushering in autumn and includes music, arts, acrobatic shows, and street processions among 500 fun activities.
The artists get to perform amongst the public and this literally takes the fever pitch of the festival to new levels.
The highlights of this important festival include the amazing Castellers – human towers which takes place at the Placa de Jaume. Try to get there early as many thousands of people pack out the town square to watch the Castellers build a human tower and to have a young child climb to the top. This is one sight that will remain in your memory long after you leave Barcelona.
Other highlights include the giants parade held in the Placa de Juame where giant effigies of kings, queens and nobles march through the streets. In the same city square in the evening you can enjoy images and video which is projected onto the surrounding buildings.
Santa Tecla Festival Tarragona – 15th to 24th September
The best way to learn about Spain’s past is to indulge in Tarragonas Santa Tecla festival. The celebrations feature rock music drama plays, some jazz, movies, sports, and parties with a historical reflection. The essence of the festivities has however been in the dances, which also get a lot of airtime during the celebrations.
September festival calendar Spain
6th to 10th September – Alicante – Virgen del Socorro. The Ravel quarter organises a feast in honour of its patron saint. It includes processions, cooking competitions, dancing and other games.
1st September – Melilla, Ceuta – Regional day – Festival of Abraham’s Sacrifice
8th September – Asturias – Day of Extremadura
11th September – Dia de Catalonia – Lots of flag waving and local patriotism with demonstrations celebrating the region’s independence.
15th September – Day of the Bien Aparecida the patron saint of Cantabria
15th to 24th September – Festival of St Tecla Sitges – Tarragona
20th September – Rioja Wine Harvest Festival
22nd to 25th September – La Merce Festival Barcelona
23rd to 30th September – San Sebastian Film Festival