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Party capital of Europe - Benidorm - Fiesta calendar

(all dates are approximate)

fireworks in BenidormJANUARY 5th
Cabalgata de Reyes - Three Kings Procession

Fiesta de San Antonio Abad - Fiesta of Saint Anthony Abbot.

Carnival celebrating the funeral of the sardine! Processions, fancy dress contests and live music.

MARCH 16th
Commemoration of the finding of the Virgen del Sufragio. A statue of the Virgin is taken on a route through the streets of Benidorm's old town.

MARCH 16th - 19th
FALLAS - The traditional Valencian festival of Saint Joseph the carpenter. Originally a contest amongst carpenters to create an effigy of the Saint, it has escalated to become one of the most spectacular fiestas of the calendar year, with municipal districts competing for the prize for the best papier mache monument. Each year the monuments get bigger and better with more and more money invested in creating incredible 50-100ft high Disney-type cartoon depictions of both current event and political characters together with fictional figures. Hundreds of thousands of Euros are spent each year in building these monuments which are all burnt in the final ceremonial act of the celebrations. Festivities include, processions with participants wearing elaborate traditional costumes, street entertainment, fireworks and live music. The largest fiesta of this kind is held in the city of Valencia, where up to 300 massive monuments block the busy streets of the capital and commercial life comes to a halt. Here a 150ft high statue of the Virgen Mary is built out of flowers brought by participants of a day long procession through the city streets. This is a fiesta you will never forget.

EASTER dates vary
Throughout Spain the week of Easter (Semana Santa) is celebrated with somber religious processions, usually entailing an effigy of Jesus on the Cross being carried through the streets followed by mourners wearing black and carrying candles. Spaniards of all ages take part and one cannot help being struck by the sense of community and dedication to tradition that the celebrations reflect.

JUNE 22nd - 24th
Hogueras de San Juan - Bonfires of Saint John. - Bonfires in three districts of Benidorm; La Cala, El Campo and el Mercado (market) set the night on fire.

JUNE date varies
Romeria del Corpus - Gathering of the Corpus. - A very colourful fiesta lasting three days in which participants in traditional Andalucian costume organise dances and parades.

JUNE date varies - usually the last weekend
Benidorm Song Festival

The summer months are filled with concerts and cultural activities including ballet, opera, theatre and performances by leading popular international and Spanish groups and singers. See Box Office for details.

Fiesta de Asturias

Fiesta de la Vendimia (Grape harvesting festival). The House of Castille la Mancha celebrates its festival in the month of September.

OCTOBER date varies - usually the first weekend
Moors and Christians Fiesta. - This festival is celebrated all over Spain as their history is deeply rooted in the battles which took place over control of Spain in the 13th to 15th century. Each fiesta is a theatrical performance with participants dressed in elaborate and expensive costumes depicting both sides of the battle. The music played by the live orchestras is especially composed for the fiesta and is very dramatic. Battles are re-enacted using replicas of the weapons used so it can become a little noisy.

Regional fiesta celebrating the day of the constitution.

OCTOBER 9th - 12th
Fiesta del Roser - Festival of the Rosebush.

NOVEMBER dates vary - usually the second week
Each town has its Patron Saint and a fiesta is held in their honour which usually last one week. During this time the towns commercial activity virtually shuts down as celebrations go on practically 24 hours a day. Festivities include processions, dancing in the streets, live music, sporting events and firework displays. In Benidorm the Patron Saints are the Virgin of the Suffrage and Saint James the Apostle. The most outstanding acts during the week are the staging of the finding of the Virgin, the flower offering, the comic parade, the parade of floats and the great firework castle which takes place on the last day of the festivities.

Festa de la Carxofa - Festivity of the Artichoke. Dates vary - usually the third weekend

DECEMBER 20th - 31st
Christmas Festivities programme offers several acts between 20th and 31st of the month.

How better to end the year than at a traditional Spanish New Years Eve party (Fiesta Cotillon) in front of the clock in the square. Free champagne and live music provide the entertainment. Don't forget your 12 grapes which are eaten one by one on the strokes of midnight giving you luck in the year to come.

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