Festivals on the Camino in September

Written by Gail Delahunt

As the world is full of wonders and breath-taking fascinations, it is easy to miss what is happening around you. We from Follow The Camino make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to attend some great festivals when you are walking the Way.

Here are some of the best festivals on the Camino de Santiago tours in September.

San Sebastian Film festival

From the 18th to 26th September, an international film festival is held in San Sebastian. When it was first founded in 1952, other films has also entered the scene, helping its popularity.

Today, the San Sebastián International Film Festival is an annual FIAPF A category film festival and have been put amongst the other 13 A category festivals since 1957. This is one of the major competitive film festivals in Europe alongside Berlin and Cannes even though it has the lowest budgets.

It was also where the international premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo took place. San Sebastian is the starting point of the Camino del Norte route going towards Bilbao. During the festival, the atmosphere in San Sebastian is glamorous and cosmopolitan with various high-profile actors and directors descending on the city.

Rioja Grape Harvest Festival

At the end of September, the land of wine, Logrono, celebrates the Rioja Grape Harvest Festival which is traditionally known as the festivities of San Mateo, the patron saint of Logrono.

During this festival, there are a number of activities for those walking the Camino to enjoy. Among the most popular are bullfighting, parades with floats, music and fireworks. Tastings and demonstrations of grapes for wine being crushed underfoot are other activities to see.

Children can also participate in wine treading or in the parade that goes from the Town Hall to Gran Via, the famous wine fountain which spews wine coloured water into the sky. The festival is in honour of the Virgen de Valvanera, La Rioja Patrón.

Logrono is on the Camino Frances route. This is the wine paradise for those of you travellers in love with this holy beverage.

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Fiesta de la Virgen de la Vega

On the 8th of September, we celebrate the feast of the Virgen de Valvanera that started out as simple livestock and agricultural fair. The legend has it that a virgin helped Salamanta defend the city from invaders in 1706 during the War of Spanish Succession.

On the first day of the festival, salmantinos who are dressed in their traditional attires put flower in front of the virgin’s statue in her honour in gratitude. During the festival, street shows, concerts, and pop-up parties can be enjoyed by all.

This year, the celebration includes the Etnohelmántica Festival, Street Arts Festival, Medieval Market, Fair Day, and bullfighting. There are simply great many things to see here that even for adventurers who end up in places with no plan, you will have enjoyed yourself beyond expectation. Pontevedra is on the Portuguese Way.

Romería de Nuestra Señora de la Barca

The Finisterre Way or Muxia Way is part of the Romería de Nuestra Señora de la Barca. This festival is held in the idyllic village of the Costa da Morte, its name in the Galician language means the end of the world, fisterra. The first Sunday after the 8th of September is the celebration of the Virgen de la Barca Shrine and its mythical rocks which is at a site in Camino dos Faros.

The village is heavily Christianized by Catholic church and has many stories about it. One of the many legends that exist in this city is that of a city that was submerged under the water for not adhering to the words of the Apostle Santiago and the beautiful Virgin of the Barca on a stone boat who encouraged Apostle James and gave guidance to the Jerusalem since he had fulfilled his mission.

According to the legends, the stone deposited there is from the Stone of Abalar, the boat, and is said to be able to move when it wants to. They celebrate by tasting the caldereta (fish stew) and dancing with the Abalar stone.

The dancing involves visitors shaking the stones when they make wishes from the Virgin although it is believed that only the innocent and free from sin can manage this. As such, come see this small village that still preserve its traditions and interesting religious rituals.

Día de América

On the 19th of September, the Asturias America Day parade takes place in Oviedo, a city renowned for its cultural integration. During the industrial revolution, many Asturians migrated to America in search for a better life and have provided their family back home with their expenses.

As there are many Asturian emigrants to America who usually come back from America for the summer. They started a tribute to these people with a parade with colourful floats, music and costumes.

The festival is no small matter and during the America Day, the streets are washed anew and there are plenty to see here. People from all over the world gather for this fun festival. Oviedo is the finishing point of the Camino del Norte and the starting point of the Camino Primitivo.

There are also architectural, musical and artistic festivals all lined up in September on the calendar in Spain every year. If you would like to take part in any of the Camino festivals along the Camino de Santiago routes or would like to get help finding more information to help you set your mind choosing a route, contact our Camino experts.

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Originally published on 27th September 2016

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