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Alicante Festivals

Alicante hosts a variety of seasonal events and religious festivals, which attract many visitors to this historical, intriguing and vibrant city.

The city is especially known for its colourful parades and fiestas, which involve huge parties with dance and music flowing throughout the streets until the early hours of the morning. The locals are very passionate in upholding traditional values and thoroughly enjoy the amusement that comes along with them, as well as encouraging visitors to join them in celebrating together.

San Juan's bonfires (Hogueras de San Juan)
CC / Bruno Zaragoza

San Juan's bonfires (Hogueras de San Juan)

The Fogueres de Sant Joan is an important celebration in Alicante, which pays homage to Saint John and welcomes the summer season with bonfires and fireworks. The celebrations have been going on for hundreds of years, the exact date and time is not known, but today's activities go back to 1928. On the night of the 20th of June, large satirical artistic monuments of paper mache and wood are set up all over the city. Four days later, on the Nit del Foc, they are burnt in the crema. After the crema, a huge fireworks display presented at the St Barbara Castle can be seen from all over the city of Alicante.

Porrat Festival (Festa del Porrat)
Flickr / El Gatinvisible

Porrat Festival (Festa del Porrat)

This festival is held each year on the 17th of January in the neighbourhood named after Alicante's Patron saint, San Anton. The market sells traditional food, dried fruits and nuts, and a small fair is held. Locals are known for taking their animals to the bullring where they are said to be blessed. An animal show is also organised for entertainment purpose.

Semana Santa (Easter)
CC / Daniel Sánchez domínguez

Semana Santa (Easter)

This is one of Alicante's main religious celebrations and lasts between Palm Sunday to resurrection Easter Sunday. Brotherhoods usually participate in the parade where artwork is also presented by famous artists. On Holy Wednesday the main procession take place on the streets of Santa Cruz. Holy Thursday sees the 'paso de la Santa Cena' sculpture being carried through the parade and this is referred to as the Holy Supper Float. Easter falls between late March and early April depending on the Lunar Calendar.

Alicante Carnival
CC / Javier martin

Alicante Carnival

Every year, around the time of Shrove Tuesday, Alicante celebrates a colourful carnival that lasts for three weeks. The festival begins with the Don Carnal and Dona Cuaresma plays, followed by daily street celebrations. The highlight is on Sábado Ramblero (2nd of February), when the city's main thoroughfares, La Rambla and El Barrio, fill with stunning costume parades, music and dancing.

The carnival ends with a ceremony called 'Funeral Wake and Burial of the Sardine', during which masks and make-up get buried till next year's carnival. To complete the mourning act, everybody wears black and carries a candle in their hand.

Moors and Christians Festival
CC / Angel Aroca Escamez

Moors and Christians Festival

This is a fiesta celebrating the recapturing of Spain from the Arabs in the 12th century. The festival of Moors and Christians has become one of the main festivals that represents the social life of Alicante, getting to be, overall, an attractive mix of religion, etiquette and street festival. The friendship is an essential component of the festival of Moors and Christians. Without the spirit of camaraderie, this festival would not exist. In Alicante, the festival begins by dianas waking up the people in the morning. Then, everyone heads to the centre of the town to welcome the entradas, the arrival of Moors and Christians as they march in period costumes. Then, the festivities begin where a re-enactment of battles and dialogue between the Moors and the Christians is acted out by various filaes. The festival ends with informal and comic retreats. Each filaes has its own retreat, the kábila for the Moors and the cuartel for the Christians. At the retreats, people enjoy food and drinks.

Virgen del Socorro
CC / Rdc2

Virgen del Socorro

This is a fiesta celebrating the recapturing of Spain from the Arabs in the 12th century. The festival of Moors and Christians has become one of the main festivals that represents the social life of Alicante, getting to be, overall, an attractive mix of religion, etiquette and street festival. The friendship is an essential component of the festival of Moors and Christians. Without the spirit of camaraderie, this festival would not exist. In Alicante, the festival begins by dianas waking up the people in the morning. Then, everyone heads to the centre of the town to welcome the entradas, the arrival of Moors and Christians as they march in period costumes. Then, the festivities begin where a re-enactment of battles and dialogue between the Moors and the Christians is acted out by various filaes. The festival ends with informal and comic retreats. Each filaes has its own retreat, the kábila for the Moors and the cuartel for the Christians. At the retreats, people enjoy food and drinks.

Virgen del Carmen
Flickr / fernand0

Virgen del Carmen

Alicante is a port that has depended on the sea for trade and culture. So, it is natural that fishermen pay tribute to the patron saint of sailors. The highlight of the festival is at the island of Tabarca, where a statue of the Virgen is sitting in her own boat during a sailor's procession.

Jazz Festival
Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival

This festival attracts many great musicians to Alicante. The Jazz festival begins in July and ends in August. There are various Jazz performances allocated around the city in bars and entertainment venues.

The Pilgrimage of the Holy Visage
CC / Pedro J Pacheco

The Pilgrimage of the Holy Visage

This is a very popular pilgrimage, considered the second most important in Spain after the Andalusian Rocío. In one single day during the pilgrimage, some 200,000 people holding pilgrim's canes and wearing typical orchard-workers blousons walk to the Monastery of the Santa Faz to worship at the shrine. Along the way to the shrine, people stop for a short break known as "paraeta" during which people eat anise rolls and drink typical Alicante wine known as fondillón.

Recommended Activities

Alicante Gourmet Walking Tour

Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

Alicante City Segway Tour

Duration: 1.5 hours (approx.)

Benidorm Bike Tour

Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

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