Celebrations to look out for in November
Cocentaina - Feria de Todos los Santos de Cocentaina - Week of November 1
This festival dates all the way back to 1346, making it the second-oldest event of its kind in Spain. It started out as a regional cattle market that was granted a Royal Charter by Pedro IV of Aragon. Over the centuries it has developed into a huge celebration of agriculture, both modern and traditional. Today more than 650,000 people visit the week-long festival, and perhaps the biggest draw is the exhibition of agricultural machinery. This is the centrepiece of the event, putting on a large display of tractors, trucks and a wealth of other equipment. Also key are the medieval markets, comprising an Arab-style souk side-by-side with Christian stalls. Beyond that there´s a host of fringe activities to check out, from choir competitions to horse riding displays. Cocentaina is around a one hour car hire drive from Alicante Airport.
Santísimo Cristo del Buen Acierto - L´Alfàs del Pi - November 7-10
This ebullient and colourful celebration entails a humorous parade and a traditional flower offering. Be sure to make time for the correfocs, which is a Valencian and Catalan tradition that involves a night-time procession with lots of pyrotechnics. The celebrations culminate with a mass in the town´s church, dedicated to Santíssim Crist del Bon Encert. You can drive to L´Alfàs del Pi via the AP7 in around 45 minutes from the Drivalia Car Rental depot at Alicante Airport.
Dijous Bou - Inca - November 15
Pinpointing the date of this roving festival, held in the town of Inca, can be tricky - it takes place on the fourth Thursday following the Sunday after the October 18, which is the feast of St Luke. Dijous Bou, meaning ´Good Thursday´, has its roots in the 16th century, and for a long time filled an important economic purpose, pulling together much of Mallorca´s peasantry for a large market. These days there´s more of an emphasis on festivities, with a party on the Wednesday evening giving way to a day-long celebration on the Thursday with streets lined with markets, exhibitions, games and activities for kids. In the evening there´s an open-air concert and fireworks display. Inca is just a 30-minute car hire drive from the Drivalia depot at Palma de Mallorca Airport.
Fiesta del Milagro - Mazarrón - November 17
This celebration dates to the early modern age, when the entirety of Spain´s Mediterranean coast was under the threat of attacks by Barbary pirates from North Africa. It was claimed that one such 16th-century attack was fended off by the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. Every year, on the Sunday before November 17, the Virgin´s statue is brought down from a sanctuary and watchtower at the nearby hamlet of Bolnuevo. It is carried by procession into Mazarrón and then taken back to the sanctuary on the Sunday after the 17th. In between there´s a traditional Moors and Christians parade, in which local children and adults choose sides and dress in the garb of Moorish warriors or Christian knights. There´s a busy programme of events, including children´s activities, a floral offering, a mass and all kinds of celebrations in an evening filled with live music. The event also reflects on Murcia´s past, which was often impoverished - so classic peasant dishes like grilled sardine stew and migas (fried breadcrumbs) are served throughout the event. Mazarrón is around an 80-minute car hire drive south-west of the Drivalia Car Rental depot at Alicante Airport.
San Clemente - Lorca - November 23
Lorca is a medieval town a 50-minute drive by your hire car from Murcia City. It has a spectacular hilltop castle, which serves as the ideal spot for a Moors and Christians event. In the days leading up to the 23rd there´s a variety of parades, leading through the streets of the town and up to the castle.
There are also plenty of Medieval-style sideshows, including a traditional market, with a number of trades on display such as a blacksmith with a working forge. On the 23rd there´s a re-enacted siege at the castle, followed by a religious pilgrimage, which brings the program to a head. Lorca is also around an 80-minute drive south-west of the Drivalia Car Rental depot at Alicante Airport.