The Many Festivals Of Alicante, Spain

Alicante, Spain is an area that is famous for its lavish festivals throughout the year. Most of the festivals that take place are based on a religious celebration. However, the festivals are open to everyone, of every faith and participation is encouraged. The festivals are filled with culturally significant foods, music and tradition. Anyone traveling to this area during festival time should take the time to participate.

The Moors And Christians Festival

This festival is held in different parts of the city throughout the year. It is a continual celebration of the Christians crusade against the Moors that had stolen their land. Each festival will contain people dressed in lavish costumes representing different participants in the crusade. Templars, pirates, and even Zulu warriors may be seen entering the town in a parade, accompanied by local bands. Many shows are presented during the festival.

Carnaval

Carnaval takes place the week before Ash Wednesday. This festival is filled with parades, live music and dancing. A costume parade takes place on the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday, that looks like a masquerade ball flowing through the city. Carnaval ends on Ash Wednesday when a parade, known as The Burial of the Saradine, commences and marches through the city.

Easter

The Easter celebration lasts for a week in Alicante, starting on Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Sunday. Beginning on Palm Sunday, 27 different groups parade through the town each day, carrying floats depicting the Christian faith. Of these floats, the Last Supper Float that is carried on Holy Thursday, is perhaps the most astounding.

St. John’s Bonfires

This festival, usually held on the night of June 24th, is a celebration of the summer solstice. No one is sure how long ago this festival started, but many believe it predates the crusades. During this gathering non-valuable objects are burned and there is music and dancing. In celebration of the solstice, there are also bull fights and many banquets to partake in on that evening.

St. Anthony’s Market.

On the 17th of January, citizens of the neighborhood named for St. Anthony gather at the local bullring to have their animals blessed. After the blessing there is an animal show and many vendors are set up which sell a large variety of specialty foods such as quince jelly or bride’s nougat.

The Pilgrimage of the Holy Visage

This parade takes place on the Thursday after Easter Sunday. A pilgrimage is made from the city by nearly 200 thousand people dressed as field workers to the Santa Faz monastery. At the monesatary there are fair booths, picnic lunches and entertainment.

Alicante also hosts four other festivals dedicated to the Virgin in May, July, August and September. Each of these festivals are unique and wonderful to experience.