Public Holidays and Festivals in Santander

Virgen del Mar (Our Lady of the Sea)

Between May to June, falls Whit Monday, when hundreds of people carry the patron saint of Santander, in a procession. The hermitage of La Virgen del Mar is situated on an islet which is connected to Santander. If you visit the city during this time, you might take part in the procession and mass. There are numerous traditional customs that are followed and are continued by performances too.

Honor of San Juan (Saint John)

On 24th June there is a big bonfire created by the pilgrims, and numerous people, from the nearby districts, come to Santander to organise their ceremony of honouring Saint John. If you are at Santander on this day, don’t miss out on the central bonfire situated at the Second Beach of El Sardinero. It is accompanied by open-air dance and other activities.

El Carmen (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel)

This is to celebrate Virgen del Carmen, who is believed to faithfully protect the fishermen and sailors. This is celebrated in the Barrio Pesquero district on 16th July every year. There is a maritime procession which carries the Virgin from Barrio Pesquero and reaches it to the Bay in a boat, decorated with flowers. It is a lovely event to witness and is accompanied by numerous street stalls, outdoor cooking, performances, etc.

Baños de Ola (Wave Baths)

Every year, during mid-July, Santander celebrates Wave Baths. This started from the early 20th century and had attracted the monarchy for celebrating the health and benefits of seawater. With the course of time, this event started reflecting the social and cultural side of Santander. There are actors dressed up, like how the locals used to dress up during that time, and there are various beach activities, performances and educational games organised. The city tries to recreate the atmosphere of an early 21st century so that it gives everyone an authentic feeling.

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