La Semana Negra de Gijón is quite a popular holiday, all over Spain as well as in Asturias. It is always held in July. The centre of this festival is the thriller novel, and stalls all over sell books from this genre. There are also performances, films of this genre etc. Nowadays, there are more attractions, food and trinket stalls, you have to go rummaging to find the libraries and really there's few tables with novels and films on sale, not like it used to be! To my taste the Semana Negra needs to change location, it's becoming worse because there are only stalls selling bracelets and earrings, and increasingly less that reflect the spirit of this holiday. It's losing followers and interest, so I've promised myself that this year I won't go unless I find out that they've changed a few things, because it's not worthwhile otherwise.
The Natural Cider Festival of Gijon is held on the last weekend of August. Although we started days before the weekend, it is better to start on the Friday in Poniente beach. They bring together all who want to participate in the simultaneous pouring to beat the world record of simultaneous pouring which is surpassed every year. Those who want to participate need to take a glass of cider and pour the cider, at the entrance you get a bottle per person. You can also acquire glasses of cider each year commemorating the cider festival, they show a scene, there are two models, one girl and one boy - a good memory and worth € 2-3 if I remember correctly. In the main square there is a market and apple cider most of the week, where you can buy typical Asturian products. Free tourist buses take you to different local wineries and apple orchards to see how it goes for the next apple cider harvest. In addition you can lean about the process of making cider. On Sunday in the main square there is a free cider tasting so there are many people that day. The nicest thing of all is to see the city decorated for the festival. The statue of Pelayo, is pouring cider, the seats are in the stalls of the different wineries, gardens presiding flowers ..... An incredible atmosphere and worth living.
Last year I went to my first Descent of the Sella Festival and I was impressed. There were lots of people from everywhere, and there was a great atmosphere both at the party and in the camping center, and it was an especially memorable 3-day holiday. It's a small but very nice town with a beach. It was a luxury holiday.
Llanes Day on July 22 is the day of St. Mary Magdalene. Hundreds of residents and others come together in a colorful procession and take a walk to the Magdalena. In the procession (which is held in the morning, after Mass) there are plenty of bagpipes, Porruanos (the name given to men wearing the costume of a town called Porrúa Llanes) and Llanes ( the name given to women for the same reason). They bear the image of the saint, while they sing to the monotonous rhythm of tambourines. In the afternoon there are usually sporting and other activities for children, and at night a great festival, where the people are usually entertained by local bands, ending at around 6 am with hot chocolate or garlic soup. It is the only town council to celebrate this holiday. The photos I have put here are from the tradition of St. Mary Magdalene in a very picturesque small town on the outskirts of Llanes. If you are visiting at this time, I recommend that you go early. The city is filled and, as medieval small, the streets are narrow and parking is not easy.
In July, the city streets are decorated to celebrate the Feast of the Virgin, Our Lady of Guia, who is the patroness of seafarers. There's a market, some attractions, festivals and, of course, the religious devotion that brings this many people together year after year. Besides the typical festival, the cultural aspect is also strongly valued these days, and there are many different exhibitions and concerts you can go to, to please the taste of all its visitors.
When I went for a visit to the Asturian town of Tapia de Casariego, I got to witness their three most important events: IX World Championship surfing, IV Craft Fair and finally the most important Mussel Festival XI. The Mussel Festival XI was organized right next to the Craft Fair, in a tent and was a great way to try the fabulous and economical mollusk, which is loved by everyone. The event took place during the Holy Week of March 31 to April 4, 2010 and we could enjoy both tourists and residents enjoy Tapia and mussels in different ways: Steamed, with vinaigrette, sautéed tapiega, tapas and rations seafood such as prawns, crabs or even rice pudding. The festival was organized by Royal Tapia Football Club and all proceeds from the festival were to benefit from it.
Each September 8 the Principality celebrates its patron saint, the Virgin of Covadonga, with processions, food fairs, concerts. It's called "Day of Asturias". The festival is a tribute to the Battle of Covadonga, cristina victory that led to the beginning of the Reconquista, the celebration itself has been held since the year 1984. It takes place every year in a different area of Asturias. Thus, in 2010 it will be in Ribadesella, but in the year 2009 it was held in Cudillero. Nearly a hundred booths with the most representative of Asturias: Asturias in Gastronomic Delights more Product Fair Asturian (local cheeses, venison and wild boar sausages, corn tortos, pies, casadielles, honeys and jams ...) Local crafts (jewelry, accessories, furniture, sculptures, leather) trades of yesteryear (blacksmiths, weavers and potters), live music, especially pipe bands, and cider, much cider. Finally, Asturian folk groups as "Felpeyu" and "Corquiéu" shake hands with pop musicians known throughout Spain, as Sergio Dalma or Chenoa. My advice: Get for 2 euros a glass of cider and enjoy your handkerchief and few "culines" cider anytime from 5 until 8 September inclusive.
During days 8 to 12 September we saw one of the most anticipated parties of the Asturian village. Pipe bands from all over the country, including some outside of the Spanish borders, went through the streets during these holidays. By day, the music of bagpipes flooded the streets, in the evenings, concerts are going in the company with massive public support. This year, as added festive event, the Villaviciosa Pipe Band - The Piper, 25th birthday.
This festival is held every year in the town of Avilés. During the festival different activities as well as folk and Celtic music concerts are held. Galician, Scottish, Irish and Asturian groups come together on stage, which forms the epicenter of the festival. An event not to be missed if you're a fan of this music.
Throughout the length and breadth of the council of Llanes there are thousands of festivals. Each village has at least a couple of them at different times of the year and they are dedicated to different saints. Still, they all maintain something in common: Everyone is welcome. Some of the best traditions received by tourists is the "espicha", the name given to the act of opening a barrel where there is cider. This one is perhaps the most famous one that is located in the village of Naves, where everyone is given thousands of liters of cider for free. Other famous festivals are dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, St. John, San Ramon, to Christ and the Virgin of the White in New. Just to name a few, because, as I say, there are many and for all tastes.