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Fiesta calendar for Calpe

(all dates are approximate)

fiesta in CalpeJANUARY 5th
The Three Kings - Procession through the streets followed by the distribution of presents to the children.

FEBRUARY - dates vary, usually second half of month
Carnival - Games for children in Mariners Square. Dancing in the streets and fancy dress costumes in the old town. Chocolate drinks at daybreak.

FEBRUARY - dates vary, usually end of month
German Beer Festival - Organised and run by the German residents of Calpe, the festivities include parades, German and Spanish folk groups, music and beer festival.

MARCH dates vary, usually 15th - 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. Festivities in Calpe begin every day at 7.30am with fireworks and live music and include a giant paella cooked in Constitucion Square.

MAY 1st
Cross of May - A cross covered in flowers is made and carried in a procession from the Town Hall to Torreo de la Peca where it is presented. Performances by folk groups from Andalucia dressed in traditional costume and the election of the carnival queen.

JUNE 24th
Hogueras de San Juan - To coincide with the summer solstice, and the eve of the feast of Saint John the Baptist, numerous celebrations are held on the beach. Festivities include children's entertainment, preparation of the bonfire, dinner on the beach, lighting of the bonfire and dancing to live music.

An addition celebration is held in the urbanisation of La Cometa which includes a paella contest and children's entertainment.

JUNE 21st - 24th - BULL-RUNNING
The famous bull running event is held in many towns at different times of the year all over Spain. Large, generally aggressive bulls are let loose in designated streets to chase after those who think they are fast enough to jump out of their way, run behind the many wooden barricades or into the steel cages set up for their protection, before they get gored. Not for the faint hearted, and definitely best left to those with more experience as it is not as easy as it looks. The bulls are very fast and many people - usually foreigners - get hurt, and occasionally killed each year due to them tripping and falling before they manage to get to safety. These bulls have large horns, and will attack through fear. Hundreds of people attend the events, sitting upon makeshift platforms above the streets or standing within the steel cages. It can become rather noisy with everyone shouting and jeering at the bulls who naturally feel trapped and we all know how a cornered wild animal reacts to this kind of situation.

JULY 16th
Virgen del Carmen - The sailors celebrate with a festival in honour of their Patron Saint La Virgen del Carmen. Held in the fishermen's quarters of Calpe, events include Mass in honour of the Virgin, the town band marching through the streets, the offering of flowers to the Virgin, and a procession along the streets to a boat waiting in the harbour with an effigy of the Virgen placed aboard. The boat then takes the flowers out to sea where they are scattered in memory of those sailors lost. A firework display is then held at night. The festivities also include bull-running in the port - see above.

Virgen de Las Nieves - 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 begin at dawn with flutes and drums in the streets and include processions, bull-running (see above), dancing in the streets, live music, sporting events and firework displays.

OCTOBER 9th - 12th
Beer Festival - Folk music, beer and German gastronomy, dancing and fairground attractions.

moors and christians CalpeOCTOBER - dates vary, usually third weekend
Moors and Christians Festival - 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. Events include the landing on the beach of the boats.

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