Calendar of festivals and cultural and sporting activities

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.

Due to the health crisis the specific dates of the events listed below are currently unavailable, they will be published as they are confirmed. Festivals and cultural activities may also be cancelled and/or modified, depending on the circumstances of the moment.

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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.

© 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.

© Tarragona turisme
8-16 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.

© Pep Escoda
28 March-5 April

One of the manifestations with the most solemnity in the city of Tarragona is Easter Week, which main event is the Holy Burial Procession on Good Friday.
The first documented proof of the celebration of this procession through the streets of the Part Alta (Old Town) goes back to the year 1550. Currently more than 4000 people group in 13 associations, brotherhoods and congregations and carry 20 pasos (episodes of the Passion of Christ) in this procession. The procession is preceded by the armed soldiers who break the silence with the sound of their kettledrums.

16 April - 2 May

Twenty-five 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
30 April-16 May

The only festival in Spain dedicated to dixieland, the origin of Jazz, popular music from New Orleans from the end of the 19th century. Every year it holds more than fifty concerts and activities in different areas as theatres, bars, restaurants and also in the open air.

© Manel Antolí (RV Edipress)
14-30 May

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

© Pep Escoda
22-30 May

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.

17 June-4 July

Come and sample our dishes that put oily fish at centre stage.

© Manel R. Granell
29 June

This is the main festival of the fishermen’s quarter, El Serrallo, and one of the most traditional local festivals in the city of Tarragona.

3 and 4 July

Come and experience an event packed with an amazing variety of activities in one of the two buildings of the Tarragona Trade Fair and Conference Centre.

© Manel R. Granell
9 July-22 August

Profitez d’une offre musicale éclectique avec des spectacles pour tous les goûts. Musique et spectacles de haute qualité qui raviveront notre bien-être. Réservez dès maintenant votre entrée et rêvez grâce au Festival d'Été de Tarragone ! 

22-25 July

A three-day tournament plus a day dedicated to fun and excitement at PortAventura Park. The world’s leading grassroots water polo festival will take place at the Sylvia Fontana Olympic outdoor pool in Tarragona.

© Pep Escoda
16-19 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, bastoners (dancers hitting sticks together in rhythm) and more. All these festive figures come together to accompany the water of Sant Magí, the central focus of the festival. The castells (human towers) also play a role in the celebration, along with a wide variety of festive and cultural events (concerts, theatre, etc.).

© Manel  R. Granell
22 August

The Minipop event is back this year in a different format but with the same spirit as ever: contemporary music and culture for every audience type in a venue designed for sharing experiences. The young and not-so-young alike will enjoy a memorable summer concert featuring a line-up of well-known artists and new musical talents in one of the city’s most iconic locations at the foot of the Roman walls.

© Albert Rué
1-4 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.

© El Perfil Bueno
19 September

The most festive and traditional sporting event in 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
November

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

Your favourite magicians are back in town and this year, due to the current health situation, they are casting a special spell so that audiences can surround themselves in magic from the comfort of their own homes.

© 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
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.

© 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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