Traditional Spanish Clothing for Festivals

Updated April 17, 2017

Spain has many colourful and traditional festivals that take place throughout the year. Spaniards typically dress for these festivals in what has become the traditional or characteristic clothing of that region. This allows Spaniards to keep their traditions alive and take pride in their different regions as well as add to the fun and festive atmosphere.


During the San Isidro celebrations in May in honour of one of the city's patron saints, Madrid residents dress in the characteristic costume of the city. This costume dates from the 19th century and was popularised by Francisco Goya's paintings of the period. Women wear a long dress that is tight in the hips but flares out at the legs. They tie a scarf over the head, wrap a fringed shawl around the shoulders and adorn themselves with carnations. Men wear a black-and-white checked flat cap and a vest and jacket of the same pattern over a white shirt and black slacks.


During Valencia's Fallas festival, many Valencians dress in typical regional clothing, which emulates the 18th-century Spanish style and is quite elegant. Women wear a dress with a bodice and a full skirt, matching shoes, white stockings and a scarf that covers the chest. The dresses are often decorated with lace and embroidery. The men wear a white shirt, black trousers, a short black jacket and a wide belt. Another type of Valencian men's attire consists of a shirt, a pair of breeches, stockings, espadrilles (typical canvas sandals), a scarf covering the hair and a brightly coloured blanket worn over one shoulder.


During Seville's April Fair, Spaniards dress in the manner typical of the Andalusian region. In fact, across the world this costume has become synonymous with Spain itself. The women wear bright skirts or dresses that are tight in the hips and end in layers of ruffles, often with large polka dots, and wear large fringed shawls. The outfit is often complemented with large, brightly coloured earrings and flowers in the hair. The men wear white shirts, dark slacks, short jackets and Cordoba-style hats. Some wear Spanish cowboy chaps as well.


During Pamplona, Navarra's San Fermín festival, residents dress in Pamplona's typical costume, which dates from the 1930s. Both men and women dress in white shirts and white trousers, or skirts for the women. The outfit is worn with a red scarf tied around the neck and a wide red belt. The most traditional look includes white espadrilles tied with red laces around the legs.

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About the Author

Sarah Rogers has been a professional writer since 2007. Her writing has appeared on Nile Guide, Spain Expat and Matador, as well as in “InMadrid.” She is also the author of “Living in Sunny Spain Made Easy.” Rogers often writes about living abroad and immigration law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and Spanish from San Francisco State University.