Alicante Events, Fiestas and Festivals 2014 / 2015
(Alicante, Costa Blanca, Spain)
The Alicante area features many seasonal events and festivals, which include colourful carnival parades, dances and fiestas. Locals in Alicante like to party and highlights include popular Easter parades and celebrations, bonfires and fireworks around St. Barbara Castle each June, and a noteworthy jazz festival each summer. Also worth noting when visiting Alicante in April, the popular Santa Faz Pilgrimages event attracts around 200,000 people and is one of the area's largest festivals.
For the latest up-to-date information about seasonal events and concerts in the Alicante area, refer to local newspapers or the tourist information centres.
National Public Holidays
- 1st January - Ano Nuevo / New Year's Day
- 5th January - Epifania / Epiphany
- 19th March - Dia de San José / St. Joseph's Day
- Late March or early April - Jueves Santo / Maundy Thursday
- Late March or early April - Viernes Santo / Good Friday
- 1st May - Fiesta del Trabajo / Labour Day
- 15th August - La Asunción / Feast of the Assumption
- 12th October - Nacional de Espana / National Day
- 1st November - Todos los Santos / All Saints' Day
- 6th December - Dia de la Constitución / Constitution Day
- 8th December - La Inmaculada Concepción / Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- 25th December - Navidad / Christmas Day
- Porrat de San Antón (St. Anthony's Market) - mid-January, a local market and animal show held in the bullring, selling a range of home produce. The festival is named after the region's Patron Saint, San Antón (St. Anthony).
- Carnaval - mid-February, major carnival festivities throughout Alicante, with colourful processions of decorated floats, marching bands and dancing along the main streets, including Rambla Avenue. Other highlights include the traditional burying of a sardine on Ash Wednesday, costumed street entertainers, and a number of parties.
- Semana Santa (Holy Week)- late March / early April, particularly historic and popular religious events in Alicante, held between Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Notable Easter parades include the Santa Cruz procession, the Silencio del Jueves Santo, the Veronica procession and the La Virgen de la Alegria parade.
- Santa Faz Pilgrimages (Peregrina de la Santa Faz) - mid-April, the Alicante Santa Faz Pilgrimages festival takes place two Thursdays after Easter Sunday and has become the country's second-largest pilgrimage. Around 200,000 people take part in this major event and walk from the centre of Alicante to the Monastery of the Holy Face (Monasterio de Santa Faz). Other highlights include a craft market, a fair ground, picnic lunches and a procession to the Santa Faz Monastery.
- Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians Festival) - mid-April, a traditional fiesta in this part of Spain, Alicante's Moors and Christians Festival (Moros y Cristianos) celebrates the time when Spain was recaptured from the Arabs during the 12th century. With general festivities and plenty of local produce, the festival takes also takes place during March (Villafranqueza area), June (San Blas area) and August (Altozano and José Antonio areas).
- Cruces de Mayo (May Crosses) - mid-May, much of Alicante is decorated with crosses covered in flowers, with parties, music and dancing. This event is particularly concentrated in the Santa Cruz district.
- Hogueras de San Juan (Bonfires of St. John) - late June, the Bonfires of St. John has become one of the most important events in the Alicante area. Many major papier-maché and wooden sculptures are displayed around central Alicante and then burnt on a large fire. The festival also features fireworks from St. Barbara Castle (Castillo de Santa Bárbara), street parades and concerts.
- Virgen del Carmen (The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel) - mid-July, with maritime-based events, including decorated fishing boats, parades of sailors, and celebrations on the nearby island of Tabarca.
- Jazz Festival - mid-July / early August - a major celebration during the summer months of July and August, the Alicante Jazz Festival attracts many famous jazz musicians to the city, performing in a variety of bars and entertainment venues throughout the centre.
- Festival de Verano de Alicante (Alicante Summer Festival) - July / August, lasting around two months, offering an extensive programme of events, including concerts, dancing and plenty of family fun. Many of the events are centred around the Paseo del Puerto.
- Virgen del Remedio (Our Lady of Remedy) - early August, celebrations honour the Patron Saint, with 'Alborada' concerts, a procession along the main streets, and 'Feast Day' on August 3rd. The festivities also include the Port Summer Festival.
- Virgen del Socorro (Our Lady of Succour) - early September, held in the Raval district, with a large feast organised by fishermen to honour their Patron Saint. Festival attractions include food and drink, cookery contests, a lively parade, dancing and a range of games, which appeal to all ages.
- Nacional de Espana - October 12th, celebrations around the city of Salamanca on Spain's National Day, which has long been a public holiday.
- There are no notable festivals and events in Alicante during the month of November.
- Festititeres (International Puppet Festival) - early December, an unusual annual event, with many performances, workshops and displays held at various venues around Alicante, both indoor and out.
- New Year's Eve - December 31st, parties and celebrations throughout Alicante, heralding the beginning of the new year, with a number of excellent midnight fireworks displays in the area.