CULTURE

Costa Blanca Fiestas & Cultural Heritage

The cultural heritage of the Costa Blanca is huge and you can discover some of their inheritance through the many festivals to celebrate, castles to explore and sights to be seen. Villages of the Costa Blanca possess a multicultural environment where you can easily place yourself amongst the atmosphere of remote times.

Castles of rock at the foot of the Mediterranean, narrow cobbled streets where the smell of sea mingles with the refreshing scent of jasmine, churches that adorn the town square welcoming friends and strangers. All this heritage contains so much history and tradition until today. Moors and Christians in Alcoy, Denia and Calpe, Altea and Alicante fiestas, neighborhoods of Arab architecture or castles in Guadalest and Javea are some of the cultural expressions of the Costa Blanca.

There is never a dull moment on the Costa Blanca, celebrations occur throughout the year surrounded by loud but harmless gunpowder, music bands that step out with pride and joy onto the streets and beautiful, colourful firework displays that fill the night sky.

The Moors and Christians festival is one of the most exquisite in the fiesta calendar. Alcoy, Denia, Villajoyosa and Calpe are some of the municipalities that, to the rhythm of drums and chimes, represent the struggle between Moors and Christians. Authentic processions of metal helmets, velvet tunics, jewellery, and turbans adorned with sequins, crosses and crescents which evoke the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. The finale to this spectacular event puts you in awe as a colourful celebration of fireworks adorns the night sky.

Hogueras de San Juan is probably the next biggest event on the Costa Blanca, as Alicante welcomes the summer by converting its streets into an inferning museum. After four days of intense party, it all disappears between the heat of the flames and the night of June 24; Saint John’s Day. Here, the spectacular nature of the Alicante art scene is mixed with an aroma of gunpowder and an army of bands who add music to this amazing celebration. Streets are filled with colour by the numerous spectacular parades.

Semana Santa, which falls around the Easter break, is a holy week where celebrations take place in the churches from Easter Friday to Sunday. The representative figures of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ are shown to the public, and traditional processions flood the streets of various towns and villages in the Costa Blanca. Some of the people participating in procession wear the nazareno or the penitential robe. It has several parts including a tunic and a capriote (a conical shaped hood) used to hide the face. Sometimes they will also wear a cloak too. The nazareno robe is of medieval origin. People wearing nazarenos during procession carry candles or wooden crosses.

NATIONAL FIESTA DATES IN SPAIN

  • JANUARY 1 – NEW YEARS DAY
  • JANUARY 6 – THREE KINGS DAY
  • MARCH 19 – SAN JOSE
  • MAY 1 – WORKERS DAY
  • JUNE 24 – SAN JUAN
  • AUGUST 15 – ASSUMPTION DAY
  • OCTOBER 12 – NATIONAL FIESTA
  • NOVEMBER 1 – ALL SAINTS DAY
  • DECEMBER 6 – CONSTITUTION DAY
  • DECEMBER 8 – IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
  • DECEMBER 25 – CHRISTMAS DAY