Three festivals in the Costa Blanca region that you must visit once in your lifetime

May, 10 2017 ( Updated August, 09 2017)

Costa Blanca
Bous a la Mar
Moros y Cristianos
Las Fallas

The coastal region of Costa Blanca is one of the most visited destinations in Europe because of its warm climate and sandy beaches that attract tourists. Besides getting a suntan, enjoying the best of Spain in terms of food, visiting the waterfalls, markets and medieval buildings, the festivals hosted here are an integral part of the beauty of the area.

Spain is known for its festivals and the Spanish are known to take their regional festivals very seriously and very passionately. This passion ensures an almost breath-taking experience not just for locals, but also for tourists from all over the world.

Here we have a list of three of the major festivals celebrated in the Costa Blanca:

Javea Festivals

Bous a la Mar or Bulls to the sea is Javea’s main festival which is celebrated during the last week of August and the first week of September. Although this festival follows the traditional Spanish norm of bull-fighting during festivals, it comes with a twist.

A small part of the beach is sealed off and a temporary stand is created which overlooks that part of the beach and the sea. The participants stay on the beach and bulls are released one by one. The participants need to lure the bull into the sea. This is just like bullfighting except that it happens on the beach. There is a large temporary bar area located right next to the stand where you can enjoy drinks and freshly cooked sardines. Like most Spanish festivals, there are a lot of fireworks involved.

Moros y Cristianos

This festival is said to be one of Spain’s greatest festivals and is celebrated from April 21st to April 24th. This festival is celebrated across Spain, but the most significant one is in the town of Alcoy in Alicante. Alcoy is about an hour’s drive away from both Denia and Javea. Moros y Cristianos marks the liberation of Spain from the Muslim rule after a battle between the Moors and the Christians. The town of Alcoy is significant for this festival, as the ‘Battle of Alcoy’ took place in 1725 when the Christians led by St. George were victorious against the Moorish forces led by Al Azraq.

During the festival, people dress up either as Moors or Christians and throughout the duration of the festival, they enact mock battles between them. A total of 28 armies battle on the streets that smell of gunpowder. They take a break on the 23rd of April for the feast day of St George. On the last day, the Christians are defeated in the morning. As history narrates, St. George shows up and helps the Christians to surround the Moors and finally emerge victorious.

This festival isn’t just about mock battles and recreating history. It is a breath-taking blend of sight and sound. The people of Alcoy spend a whole year preparing for this festival. There are a lot of fireworks in the evening which go on until the night. The balconies are decorated with a red cross flag of St. George.

Different regions mostly near Valencia celebrate this festival during different parts of the year. For example: Altea during the last week of September, Villajoyosa, near Benidorm in late July and Bocairent in early February.

Las Fallas

The festival of fire is another one of Spain’s greatest festivals which attracts tourists from all over the world. The festival is celebrated on a grand and rather noisy scale in Valencia from the 15th of March to the 19th of March every year to honour an age-old tradition of the carpenters.

Over the years the carpenters used to hang up wooden planks called ‘parots’ to place the candles which would supply them with the light needed for them to work. These have evolved over the years to ‘ninots’. These ‘ninots’ are enormous structures made of wood, cardboard, Styrofoam and other materials. These are burned during the onset of spring, to symbolise the end of dark times. This burning was later linked to St. Joseph’s Day (the patron saint of the carpenters).

During the festival, numerous of these structures will be found in the streets of Valencia. There is usually one in every neighbourhood. The festivities begin at 8 am every day with a wake-up call from brass bands marching through the streets accompanied by firecrackers. This is called the ‘La Despertà’. The processions go on until 2 pm when ‘La Mascletà’ happens across the city, as the ground is shaken and the ears are deafened by fireworks. Every night till the final night there are firework displays in the old river bed which escalate in magnitude. On the final night, the enormous ‘ninots’ are set on fire at around midnight. The structures are loaded with fireworks, so you can expect a spectacular display in the night sky accompanied by a lot of sounds. The final and the biggest ninot is set on fire at 1 am as everyone assembles at the Plaza Ayuntamiento for the spectacular ending. The street lights are turned off during the festival. Every year, one of the structures is spared from being burned, as the result of a vote.

There is always some festival being celebrated at any time of the year, so if you are visiting the Costa Blanca you might want to check the events dates if you are keen on experiencing a specific one.


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