If you are planning on visiting the Costa Brava this summer, try to take in a few of the local traditions. On the first weekend in July, for example, is one of the best opportunities. Folk songs and a seaside celebration par excellence await visitors to the charming fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell as they gather for their annual Cantada de Habaneras.
Habaneras have since their inception been associated with the sea. Originating in Cuba in the early 19th century, they quickly became very popular in all of Spain. In Catalonia in particular, the popularity of the habaneras took a new dimension because of the close trade relationship between Cuba and the coastal towns of the region. Habaneras have become a festival in and of themselves, where people gather along the beach to listen to the classic songs, have bonfires and drink traditional drinks like “rom cremat”.
If you´ve never experienced a seaside folk festival in Spain, there is no better way to get initiated in the celebration, which always has a heavy local flavor.