Los Caños de Meca
• 23 June: Night of San Juan
A magical night to celebrate the coming of summer. Lots of people come down to the beach to light bonfires and bathe in the sea in a ritual of purification beneath the moon.
• 5 January: Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos (Procession of the Kings)
The long-awaited moment when the Three Kings arrive to furnish children with sweets and goodies. This usually starts around 5pm.
• 16 June: Fiesta del Carmen
The Virgin del Carmen is Barbate’s patron saint of the sea and festivities last a whole week. Images and a statue of the virgin are taken by boat to the Puerto Pesquero to give thanks for a good year of fishing and much merrymaking ensues.
• August: Fiesta de la Sardina
The feast of the sardine takes place in the Puerto Pesquero around the middle of August, featuring lots of grilled sardines, cold beers and a lively, party atmosphere.
Vejer de la Frontera
• 1rst. Sunday each month: FleaMarket
Located in the Old Town, Street Juan Relinque, a pedestrian area.
• April: Feria de Primavera.
One of the most important festivals in the region, featuring Flamenco dancing and dancing horses.
• 1-8 March 2012: Semana Santa (Easter)
A week of elaborate processions all through the pretty, narrow streets of the old town.
• 24 June: Night of San Juan
Celebrates the coming of summer and the shortest night of the year with bonfires, fireworks, and a metal bull set on fire.
• 10-24 August: Velada / Feria de la Virgen de la Oliva
On 10 August a procession carries the village’s virgin of olives from a small hermitage located between Barbate and Vejer up high to Vejer, and then brings her back down again on the 24th. It is a generally festive air for the two weeks in between, with lots of singing and dancing in the streets and plazas.
Conil de la Frontera
• 23 January: Romería de San Sebastián
San Sebastían, the patron saint of Conil, is celebrated each January with a procession through the town.
• 1rst week inSeptember: Feria de la Virgen / Patrona Ntra. Sra. de Las Virtudes
A night time festival that is particularly good for seeing the sevillanas (a style of flamenco dancing) and fairground rides for the kids.
• February: Carnival
Popularly believed to be the best carnival in Spain, this is when you’ll find Cádiz at its most jubilant. Satirical performers called chirigotas perform on the streets, backed up by various choirs (coros) and poets (comparsas). Don your wildest outfit and hit the streets – this event is not to be missed.
• 24 February – 10 March 2012: XVI Festival de Flamenco
Jerez is known for its flamenco puro and the town buzzes with world class performances during these two weeks. www.jerez.es/index.php?id=festival-jerez
•May: Feria del Caballo (horse fair)
People travel from all over the world to attend Jerez’s annual horse fair. It attracts hundreds of talented riders and extraordinary performances by the famous dancing horses of the Fundación Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre.
• Christmas: La Zambomba
The zambomba is a ceramic instrument covered with goatskin or fabric. In the centre is a long cane that produces a deep, rhythmic sound for the villancicos (Christmas carols). The tradition started off with small gatherings of friends and family and has become a popular Christmas celebration all over the Costa de la Luz, particularly in Jerez.
• 2nd week of June: African Film Festival
An interesting, week-long festival that celebrates African film and photography. www.fcat.es/FCAT