No matter what time of year you decide to visit Malaga, there is always something going on in this delightful region of Spain. Beyond all the many historic sights, museums, and family-friendly attractions, there is also a plethora of exciting events spread across each season of the year, with spring being no different. If you are looking to spend time on the Costa del Sol this spring, perhaps picking up a car rental in Malaga while you’re at it, you should definitely allocate some time to enjoying the events on offer. From film festivals to Easter processions, it’s all here in our Malaga spring events calendar.
Malaga Film Festival – 15th–24th March 2019
First up we have one of Malaga’s biggest events of the year with Malaga Film Festival, which runs in 2019 between 15th March – 24th March. This 10-day event looks to celebrate all that is great about Spanish cinema, presenting a selection of terrific films for movie-buffs to enjoy. Like most film festivals, there are prizes for best film – 22 official candidates will be up for the big prize in total. As well as the official competitions at Malaga Film Festival, visitors can look forward to screenings of 19 films outside of the official competition, 70 short films, and 48 documentaries. The festival is housed at a number of different locations across Malaga, including Teatro Cervantes, Teatro Echegaray, and Cine Albéniz. Tickets to see the films start at €6 from the box office (they can also be purchased online). If you are a film fan in Malaga this March, Malaga Film Festival certainly can’t be missed!
While Rebecca Sharp of Almost Ginger – a blog all about her adventures on the road – hasn’t been to Malaga Film Festival, she has had a wonderful experience of visiting another of the city’s film festivals in the past, Málaga Cine Clásico Film Festival, which utilises many of the same locations. Speaking to us about what makes Malaga such a great city for film festivals and tips for those wanting to experience one, Rebecca said:
“What I loved most about the festival was how packed all the screenings were. It’s heart-warming to see so many film lovers in a small city showing their support for this kind of event. You really feel like there’s a strong community in Málaga that appreciates culture. It also helps that Málaga has great cinemas – the Cine Albéniz, in particular, was a great one to visit as a film fan. The screens themselves are some of the best I’ve seen from an independent cinema, but it has a beautiful facade that you might expect from an old, classic movie theatre. Great cinemas, great films and a great vibe, you can’t expect more from any film festival.
“Definitely don’t miss a screening in the Cine Albéniz because people don’t realise that the cinema itself plays a big role in your overall film festival experience. And if you’re an anglophile who doesn’t speak any other languages, it’s worth checking the language of the film and the subtitles before you purchase your tickets. You may have to stick to English language films as the films will most likely be subtitled in Spanish, and the Spanish films may not have any subtitles at all.”
Holy Week and Easter Processions – 14th April–21st April
Easter is an important time of year for millions of people worldwide and this central Christian holiday is also a very big moment in the Malaga calendar. For those who don’t know, Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter (and the last of Lent), and this year is observed between Sunday 14th April and Saturday 20th April, with Easter Day rounding things off on Sunday 21st April. Also known as Semana Santa in Spanish, for those spending Easter in Malaga you can look forward to wonderful and passionate processions and parades that take place across the seven days (except Saturday) as the locals celebrate this important time of year.
In Malaga, the Easter processions are organised by brotherhoods and the celebrations themselves date back nearly 500 years. The devotion and passion on display is truly something to behold. More than 44 brotherhoods organise processions across the week and usually start in the afternoon going through to early morning. Each procession has its own route and final destination, but they all pass through a specific stretch along the Alameda Principal and Calle Larios. So, this is a great place to be to see the festivities. Just make sure you get there early to get a spot!
Silke Elzner from the travel blog Happiness and Things, has spent time in Malaga during Semana Santa and spoke to us about what she believes makes this event so special: “The Holy Week in Malaga, or Semana Santa, is an exciting festival of sights and sounds. The smoke of incense, the rhythm of the drums, the colourful robes with the peaked hoods, the elaborate tronos – all of this make this festival an experience like no other. Witnessing the processions and joining the crowds, you can sense how deeply ingrained the beliefs and the culture still is in Malaga’s society, and that you are watching something very special and very meaningful. It is an event not to be missed when visiting the city in spring.”
We would be here all day if we were to list all the processions and celebrations taking place but below, we have picked out some dates and highlights that you might want to check out during Malaga’s Holy Week:
Sunday 14 April – Palm Sunday
Celebrating Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, on this day you can witness joyful processions, with children carrying palm leaves.
Wednesday 17 April – Jesús El Rico
This procession is famous for its tradition of freeing a prisoner each year (started in the 18th century by Carlos III).
Maundy Thursday 18 April
This is one of the most popular and spectacular processions of the week, where Spanish legionnaire troops escort the float, featuring singing and rifle drills.
Good Friday 19 April
The processions on Good Friday marking the Crucifixion are unsurprisingly solemn and mostly silent. Las Servitas is the last procession of the day and Malaga’s lights go out as it parades through the streets.
Easter Sunday 21 April
Then, of course, comes the processions on Easter Sunday, symbolising the resurrection of Christ, where dark gowns are replaced with white and green for this celebratory occasion.
International Museum Day – 18th May 2019
Image credit: © Museo Picasso Málaga
Organised by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), International Museum Day is an annual event which in 2019 takes place on 18th May. Acting as a celebration of museums and encouraging people to visit these important cultural and historical institutions, many museums look to get involved. One of these is the marvellous Museo Picasso Málaga – home to 285 works by the Malaga born Picasso that have been donated by his family. What can visitors to Museo Picasso Málaga expect on International Museum Day? Well, the team behind the museum spoke to us about what they have planned:
“Museo Picasso Málaga will take part in the International Museum Day, organized by the ICOM with an open house day. All those who wish can enjoy free entrance to the Buenavista Palace and see the Pablo Picasso collection, the New Collection, and the exhibition Olga Picasso. Visitors can also discover the architecture, explore the archaeological site, and even view the documentary Picasso at Work in our projection room. Additionally, have a look at the Crommelynck Printing Press in the indoor patio, which was used to print around a thousand works by Picasso, and enjoy the museum’s bookshop and café. On International Museum Day, the Museum joins the celebration of the Noche en Blanco 2019, remaining open and with free access from 10 am until 1 pm.”
Image credit: © Museo Picasso Málaga
Speaking more about the collections and what people can look forward to, Museo Picasso Málaga told us: “Museo Picasso Málaga’s permanent collection shows the great Pablo Picasso’s work, stretched over a period of time. It also points out its intrinsic versatility and the cyclical nature of his artistic investigations, drawing attention to his constant vocation for exploring the expressive possibilities of any medium.
“Moreover, From 26th February to 2nd June 2019, Museo Picasso Málaga presents the exhibition Olga Picasso, Picasso’s first wife. The exhibition came about from the letters and photographs found in the travel trunk of the Russian dancer, and it covers the years she and Picasso were together as a couple. It puts into perspective the creation of some of Picasso’s greatest works, and reconstrues this body of work in the context of a personal story that developed alongside another, political and social, story.”
Malaga Gastronomy Festival – 23rd–26th May 2019
Image credit: Malaga Gastronomy Festival
Taking place between the 23rd and 26th of May, Malaga Gastronomy Festival is yet another fantastic spring event that you will want to check out during your time in the city. Malaga is known for its fantastic culinary scene so it’s hardly a surprise that there is an exceptional gastronomy festival located here. This celebration of all things food takes place across the province and in Malaga city you can look forward to myriad entertainment such as show cooking, events, and, of course, the delicious food! The central stage for Malaga Gastronomy Festival is Plaza de la Marina, where all the main events are housed and where you can experience the food trucks and stalls to sample the best of the culinary offerings. From food tastings to exciting show cooking, there’s a lot to be excited by with this particular event. So, if you are in town towards the end of May and consider yourself a foodie, you won’t want to miss out.
The best events in Malaga during spring
- Malaga Film Festival – 15th – 24th March 2019
- Holy Week and Easter Processions – 14th April – 21st April
- International Museum Day – 18th May 2019
- Malaga Gastronomy Festival – 23rd – 26th May 2019
We hope the above has whetted your appetite for the events on offer this spring. Malaga truly is the city that keeps on giving and you won’t be disappointed during your stay. If you want to learn more, take a look at the rest of our blog to see what else you can get up to across the region.
Image Credit: costadelsol59