“Everything starts around 9:30am. Where all the people especially the young ages, from 16 to late 20’s or even early 30’s all meet to have breakfast with their friends, in groups. So they have a good, filling meal. So after that they usually go to their “cuartos” (rooms) which are little locations that established groups of friends, called “quadrillas” (circle of friends, clique) rent together to use as a gathering place during the “fiestas” (festival, party). So they pretty much go there after having that good amount of food and start drinking. That’s if you’re older. The younger teenagers mix club soda and food coloring with some other things and spray each other to get messy. They throw food and other things at each other to get messy. They even throw eggs. People start heading out to the city hall around 11:30 because the awaited “chupinzao” starts at 12pm. So the whole village around the city hall is waiting for the mayor to set the main rocket off , called the “chupinazo.” The setting off of the rocket marks the official start of the towns “fiestas.” After the rocket has been launched people dance in the street and proceed up the main street to the plaza like a parade. As the people walk up the street, townspeople throw buckets of water from their balconies onto the people dancing below. This is how the “fiestas” start in my hometown of Calahorra, La Rioja. I live in Madrid now but always go back to Calahorra for fiestas which is where my family is from. “Fiestas” in Calahorra start on August 25 and end the 30th. The fiestas celebrate the towns saint of San Emeterius and Celedonius. ”


Every town in Spain has its own patron saint(s) and the festivals of the town are based on those saints. One of the most well known examples of this is the festival of Sanfermines from the city of San Fermin. Their patron saint is Saint Fermin. Most of the “fiestas” include similar traditions like Cabezudos y Gigantes, ‘chupinazo’, and a running of the bulls. Sanfermines has made these traditions known internationally but they are performed in almost every towns’ patron saints festival celebrations, locally called ‘fiestas.’ The ‘chupinazo’ is the kick-off to start ‘fiestas.’ The informant provided his experience of the ‘chupinazo’ in Calahorra, Spain.

This website provides further information and a few pictures of the “Chupinzao”: