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Celebrations to look out for in July

Spain’s fiestas tend to fall on Saints Days, and are rooted in a large mixture of traditions, drawing on local rituals that can date back many hundreds of years. This means that few fiestas will ever be the same, and they’re a great way of sampling local life and community spirit, wherever you are. Alicante Moors and Christians Festival – Orihuela – July 17th Moors and Christians is a fiesta that takes place across much of Spain, commemorating the “reconquest” by the Spanish over the Moors in the middle ages. The celebration has different dates depending on the location, as certain towns were liberated at different times. Christians parade in Orihuela 2012 by Keith Williamson

Image credit: Keith Williamson on Flickr

Nationally recognised, Orihuela’s fiesta is especially colourful and features street parades by locals dressed as knights or in classic Berber garb. The knights are divided into eight different orders, each with a separate standard, and there are ten Moorish troupes also identifiable by their colour. The orders and troupes compete for a variety of prizes. Fiestas Tradicionales de San Gabriel – San Gabriel, Alicante - July 25th The Alicante district of San Gabriel holds a variety of remarkable events around the last week of July. These celebrations are noted for their traditional and intimate character; well observed but without overwhelming crowds. Over the course of a few days each street in the district displays decorations around a given theme and locals dress up in traditional peasant clothing. Events include the coronation of the queen and her court of honour, a children’s day, comic parades and a noisy, gunpowder-fuelled finale. Mallorca Santa Margalida – Felanitx - July 20th The picturesque village of Felanitx is the scene for a program of festivities centred on July 20th in celebration of the patron saint, Santa Margalida. There are plenty of street parties to attend, most of which are based around traditional dance. Els Cavallets involves seven children between the ages of 10 and 13 dressed in an outfit of white trousers, red tops and green hats. Correfoc en Felanitx

Image Credit: moarplease on Flickr

The most photogenic of the events takes place on the feast day, when giant papier maché figures dance with each other. Sant Jaume - Binissalem - July 25th This town in central Mallorca puts on almost two weeks of festivities in recognition of Saint James, its patron saint. It’s an eclectic celebration, organised to appeal to people of all ages. Kids can take part in all kinds of traditional workshops and sports events. There’s even an indoor football tournament for grown-ups. Binissalem is known as Mallorca’s wine centre, and many of the celebrations are based around the traditions of wine production, such as phylloxera, the pest that blighted the wine industry here in the 19th Century. On the feast day there’s a mass and historically themed plays. Murcia Cristo del Rayo - Moratalla – July 11th – 17th This hill-town in Murcia’s rural interior holds a fun-packed series of events across a week in mid-July. Among them is the coronation of the queen and her court of honour, literary contests, performances by theatre groups, musical parades, street parties and fireworks. But the most memorable events here are all based around cattle. There’s a regular schedule of bull runs, in which bulls, released from pens around the town, thunder through the town’s narrow medieval streets. People can join in the run or view the spectacle from the safety of cordons. Santiago Apóstol - Lorquí – July 14th – 25th There’s a packed programme of events in the build up to the feast of St. James in Lorquí, a short way northwest of the city of Murcia. It’s the highlight of the town’s cultural calendar and involves a broad spectrum of events to ensure that the celebration is as inclusive as possible. People from neighbouring villages come to the town for the festivities, increasing its population by several thousand. There are nightly music recitals, parades, greyhound races, quail hunts and markets by day, held to raise money for charity. There’s a strong religious element to the celebrations, which culminate with a solemn mass on the feast of Saint James. All of these locations can be reached within 60 minutes of the Drivalia Car Rental depot at the appropriate airports in Alicante (ALC) and Mallorca (PMI), except for Moratalla, which is around 90 minutes from Alicante Airport. air max 95 neon air max tennis shoes new nike air max air max 90 white pink nike air max