Celebrations to look out for in August
Alicante Fiestas The popular “Castell de L’Olla” is held on the nearest Saturday to the Saint’s Day of San Lorenzo each year – this year (2014) 9th August – on the pebble beach just outside Altea. This is an opportunity for families to pack a picnic complete with folding chairs and head to the beach for a spectacular evening’s entertainment with wonderful music from a live orchestra on water floats. At midnight a truly amazing pyrotechnic display lights up the water, lasting around 20 minutes – take your earplugs if you are sensitive to loud bangs!
Altea is around 70km, or 50 minutes drive with your hire car, from the Drivalia car rental depot at Alicante Airport, along the A-70 and AP-7 toll road in the direction of Valencia – take Exit 64 to the N332 for Altea and Calpe. As with all popular fiestas, get there early to secure parking – especially if you are carrying a lot of food and drink.
Don’t miss the Moors & Christians celebrations in Altozano, Alicante, between 12th and 16th August, a colourful fiesta marking the Christian’s 13th Century recapture of territory held by the Moors. Activities over the four days culminate in a spectacular parade featuring Moorish troops with their distinctive swaying march and opulent costumes and Christian soldiers distinguished by their crosses.
In addition you will see minstrels, dancers, prancing horses, little children in miniature costumes and marching bands. The atmosphere is fantastic with roaring crowds and outstanding music. To best enjoy the evening take a folding chair and find a comfortable spot along the procession route. It is advisable to park your hire car well away from the action and expect a very late night as the revelry continues until the early hours of the morning!
In early August is the Festival del Cante de las Minas showcasing an entire week celebrating the art of Flamenco in the little mining community of La Union. From 6th August until 16th leading Flamenco exponents and musicians vie for supremacy and the Flamenco Trophy in an outdoor extravaganza.
Declared an event of international tourist interest, the Cante de las Minas is held in the La Union Public Market, where you will see traditional Flamenco performed by ladies in swirling flounced dresses clicking castanets and also more modern interpretations of the national dance with accomplished guitarists and alternative instrumentation.
Ethnic music, world class dancers and the usual Spanish hospitality with plenty to eat and drink make this fiesta one not to be missed.
La Union is between the Mar Menor saltwater lagoon and the sea. Find parking well away from the public market and walk to the festivities.
On 10th August the Sant Llorenc Fiesta kicks off a week of events featuring musical, sporting and cultural activities celebrating the patron saint of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar. There are concerts, parties for children, games and night markets with plenty to buy, eat and drink!
Sant Llorenc is in the East of Mallorca, around 50 minutes’ car hire drive from Palma on the Ma-15 and C-715.
The Sant Bartomeu Fiesta in Montuiri, a little community built high on a hill and surrounded by windmills, is celebrated on the weekend of 23rd and 24th August, when the “devil” dressed in a brightly coloured costume pursues a woman in a pagan dance, as a tribute to her fertility. Only 25km from Palma, the devil dancing of Montuiri is reminiscent of a pagan festival with lots of singing and fireworks to mark the occasion.