Partying, summer, sea, and sun: what could be better? These are just a few of the things that the August Festival in Málaga has to offer. Málaga became a cosmopolitan city thanks to the Costa del Sol’s emergence as a booming tourist destination in the 1960s and 70s. The popularity of the August Festival amidst the jam-packed calendar of festivals in Spain lies in the survival of its classic essence and traditions.
The dates of the festival vary from year to year—ranging from the second Friday in August to the Sunday of the following week—but it always coincides with August 19th. This is the day that the Andalusian city commemorates its incorporation into the Kingdom of Castile by Ferdinand and Isabella, who arrived in Málaga on this day in the year 1487. The conquest of Málaga was a bloody episode in the final war against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, coming as the result of one of the longest battles of the Reconquista. The conflict lasted six months, during which the town’s food supply was cut off, until it finally surrendered on August 18th. Centuries later, the August Festival in Málaga is one of the biggest festivals in Andalusia. It is so popular partly because the city is at the heart of the Costa del Sol, one of the most internationally renowned tourist destinations which is visited by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world each year. Andalusian horses and people donning traditional flamenco outfits parade the streets of Málaga during the festival. The celebration takes place in the historical quarter of the city, with Calle Larios at the center of the activity. It is tradition to drink dessert wine and dance to malagueñas and verdiales, folk songs that originated in the city and its province.