Why The Fiesta Del Agua In Lanjaron Is Not To Be Missed
What do you get when you take 20,000 people and give them each a bucket and an infinite supply of water? The Answer: A bloody epic water fight.
And the annual Fiesta Del Agua y Jamon (festival of water and ham) in Lanjaron, Spain, is just that: A water-based battle of truly gigantic proportions (with some cold meats thrown in for good measure — this is Spain after all).
For most of the year, this pretty white-washed Andalusian spa town is a peaceful one. Yet once every 12 months on the eve of the midsummer equinox, and as part of the region’s San Juan celebrations, it explodes into a seething mass of color, music and tapas. Oh yeah, and lots and lots and lots of water.
A firework upon the stroke of midnight signals the official opening of the yearly grand-soaking. The fire brigade opens their hoses on the eagerly awaiting crowd, each person bearing a vessel of some description. A bucket, a plastic bag, a super-soaker 200; anything, really, that can carry water and then effectively douse someone with said water, meets the criteria and should be considered a fine and valuable receptacle.
Residents hang from their balconies wielding washing-up bowls and watering-cans, groups of lads conduct chants from the terraces, old ladies and gents chuckle as they spray the mob below who sing and dance in the showers falling from above: “Hey! Hey! Mucho agua, mucho agua!”
This experience treads dangerously close to being too much fun. As one fellow festivalgoer put it, “There were points I was so happy, I peed in my pants.”
The main event lasts for one hectic and exhilarating hour, after which the doors of the bars which have been barricaded against the deluge are flung open and the free beer flows.
It is possible to stay in Lanjaron itself for the night of the festival, but be aware that accommodation dramatically increases in price and books up well in advance.
The alternative is to make the trip from one of the neighboring towns who provide buses for the occasion at around 10 – 14 euros. Granada is a popular jumping off point and many hostels will be able to point you in the direction of transportation although, again, try and reserve a place early as it becomes increasingly more popular each year.
Oh yes, don’t forget your rubber duckie . . .
About the Author
A restless Brit with big dreams and limited cash flow, Hannah is an English graduate and former Publicist who has spent the past 18 months living and working in Central America. You can follow her wanderings at TheTangerineRidiculousness.com.