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Calendar of festivals and cultural and sporting activities 2020

Tarragona is a city awash in light and colour. The mild climate and Mediterranean character, the charm of the streets and the warmth of the people make it an ideal spot for outdoor leisure and cultural pursuits. Tarragona is also synonymous with festivities, and here the festivities take to the streets. Thanks to the many traditional local and Catalan regional holidays, the agenda is packed with celebrations all year long.

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© Pep Escoda
5 January

The Three Wise Men arrive to the city by boat, after a long journey to fulfil the dreams of young and old people.The kids wait impatiently for the Tree Wise Men who arrive at the Escala Reial to tour the city accompanied by the pages and floats.

2 February

You too can feel like an Olympian for the day at Tarragona’s Mediterranean Ring!

Take part in the SB Hotels Tarragona Marathon which is now a key fixture on Tarragona’s sporting agenda and a landmark event on the national calendar of athletics competitions.

© Alba Rodriguez
1-16 February

This February the city is organizing a series of events with an emphasis on Flamenco. Internationally-recognized flamenco stars and local artistes will be headlining a programme that includes flamenco shows, concerts, workshops and exhibitions.

© AQ
1-29 February

The restaurants in the Part Alta (historic quarter) offer menus for all budgets.

© Tarragona turisme
15-25 February

During one week the streets are filled with colour and music to celebrate the great festival of the king of debauchery. The highlight of the festival is the float-filled parade on the Saturday, and of particular note are the Disfressa d'Or, the concerts, the tasting of botifarra d’ou (egg sausage) and the crema de la bóta, the burning of the Carnival King figure in an enormous wineskin at the festivities' end.

1-19 July

Twenty of Tarragona's best restaurants will offer set menus featuring rice à la marinière, at prices ranging from 15 to 50 euros, including a starter, a main course, dessert, water, bread and wine.

© Pep Escoda
17-19 August

This is one of the city’s major festivals and is celebrated with fascinating elements of local popular culture, such as Magí de les Timbales, the giants, the Gegantons Negritos, dwarves,

© Manel R. Granell
16 August

This is the celebration of one of the best known streets in the Parta Alta (historic quarter) and one of the most traditional in the city. A cannon signals the start of the parade, in which giants and other popular figures dance through the streets to bring the neighbourhood to life. You won’t want to miss seeing the Cós del Bou giants, known as the Gegants Vells (the old giants), which are the oldest giants in the city (1825) and were given to the residents of the Cós del Bou neighbourhood by the city hall in 1904.

© Albert Rué
2-5 September

The Tarragona international theatre festival aims to bring together all the new plays of contemporary authors and directors of different origins, whether from home or abroad. An open door to new talents performed in different languages. The main distinctive trait is that these new dramas will be performed in places that are not theatres, but rather other of the city’s emblematic or historical sites.

© Manel R. Granell
11 September

Tarragona lives the Catalan National day with the Catalan traditions par excellence: Sardana dances and human towers.

© Pep Escoda
15-24 September

There is no other time of the year as lively as during the great festival, Santa Tecla. In 2002 was declared “Festival of tourist interest” by the Spanish government and in 2010 was declared “Patrimonial festival of national interest” by the Catalan government. The origins of this celebration held on the streets go back to the year
1321 when the arm relic of the patron saint arrived to the city from Armenia.
For over one week, the people from Tarragona and the visitors go out on the streets to take over the most emblematic areas of the city where the different traditional, festive and gastronomic events take place.

© Pep Escoda
11-18 October

Tarragona travels in time up until a period of great splendour for the city: the Roman times. During these international symposiums to raise awareness of ancient Roman history, the visitor lives the Roman Tarraco through historic performances such as gladiator fights, Roman theatre, music and dance and historical re-enactments of life in Roman times.All of this within an incomparable setting: the monumental sites declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

© Manel Antolí (RV Edipress)
1-15 October

A series of culinary events which take place as part of Tarraco Viva, the international festival celebrating Roman history. Numerous restaurants participate in this event which brings back recipes from the Roman era.

1-15 October

Special menus in the city's restaurants and other concurrent activities featuring Romesco. Treat yourself to Tarragona's most celebrated dish.

26 October-1 November

Terror, frights, spirits and legends of Tarragona.

© Manel R. Granell
1 November

The streets abound with stands selling fresh-roasted chestnuts. This holiday is best known for the panellets (traditional pine-nuts sweets) that fill the pastry shops and for the flowers for the departed.

© Mag Gerard
6-27 November

The world of illusionism comes together on the stages of Tarragona to offer a selection of the best magic shows today.

© Alberich Fotògrafs
End of November-beginning of December

At this fair visitors can taste different olive oils from Siurana Protected Designation of Origin.

© Jaime Rojas
2-8 December

Showing of national and international fiction or documentary feature films. A great opportunity to get to know new directors or rediscover well-known directors through their first works.

Enjoy newly released films, new directors, discoveries, emotions and much more.

© Montse Riera
December

From the beginning of December Tarragona is decked with festive Christmas lights and hosts its annual Christmas fair. Two very rooted traditions are re-enacted: el Tió (log that gives presents) and the nativity scenes exhibited in premises of different associations and in the city’s parks. The festivities are completed with different Christmas activities: Performance of the theatre show Els Pastorets (The Little Sheperds), Christmas carol singing, and the children’s park, among others.

End of December-beginning of January

Every year, Tarragona’s Christmas Park hosts more than 35 workshops and activities for children to enjoy and experience the Christmas spirit.

© Pep Escoda
31 December

In this Catalan tradition, a jumping jack with as many noses as days left in the year (a large nose) walks through the city's streets giving out sweets to the kids.

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