Cantabria Fairs and festivals

Regarding the fairs, understood as big markets of products periodically celebrated, it is remarkable the Livestock Fair of Torrelavega taking place in the National Livestock Market “Jesús Collado Soto”, the third biggest of Spain, that groups the buy and sell of all kinds of cattle in the region itself and the adjacent ones, being the bovine the main product. All over the region cattle and typical products fairs are celebrated weekly, monthly, or annually to gather the neighbours of the land. There are many different festivities in Cantabria, some of them limited just to small villages, but there are also festivals that attract tourism from all over the country. The most important are the following:

La Vijanera (Winter Carnival), celebrated during the first Sunday of the year in Silió. It celebrates the end of the short winter days and the arrival of the sun. The representation of a white bear hunt takes place all over this little village. The traditional dressing of the characters in the play, the trapajones and the zarramacos, is one of its main features.

Carnaval marinero (Sailor Carnival), in February in Santoña. Commonly known as “the carnivals of the North”, in this carnival, started in 1934, many people of the town participate dressing themselves up as fish. The main event is the “Trial at the bottom of the ocean”, where the “besugo” is judged before the last act, “The burning of the besugo”. (A besugo is a foolish person besides a type of fish).

La Folía, April in San Vicente de la Barquera, a parade of local fishing boats following one with a statue of the Virgin.

Coso Blanco, first Friday in July in Castro Urdiales. Colorful parade with carts.

Cantabria Day, second Sunday of August in Cabezón de la Sal. Traditional Cantabrian music, ceramics fair, local foods, bolo palma championships, ox dragging contests and public speeches.

SAUGA folk music festival, celebrated the third weekend of August in Colindres.

Floral Gala, August en Torrelavega. A festival of international touristic importance with carts decorated with flowers.

Battle of Flowers, August, in Laredo. Carts decorated with flowers and fruit. Fireworks in the evening.

Campoo Day, September in Reinosa. Tourist fair of regional importance since 1977 and celebrated since the 19th century, it shows customs and traditions of the Campurrians in their capital. Cattle shows, local products market and regional costumes are the items in this festival.

The following festivals are also remarkable in modern Cantabrian culture: Santander International Festival (Arts festival), Santander Summer Festival (Music festival), Sotocine (Film festival)

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