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Jávea’s Festival of Our Lady of Loreto

In the last week of August the town of Jávea honours Our Lady of Loreto (Mare de Déu de Loreto), the patron of the Port of Jávea. The fiesta was originally created by Javea´s sailors and takes the name of the ancient hermitage once sited at the port. From the 28th of August to the 8th September a number of events take place around the port area, including concerts, parades, competitions, feasts and a spectacular fireworks display over the bay. There are also solemn ceremonies inside the port’s church, Nuestra Señora de Loreto, which was opened in 1961 and built upon the site of the original hermitage. The church is an interesting piece of architecture that reflects the town’s seafaring traditions; the curved wooden planks that make up the ceiling resemble the hull of a boat and the high windows give the impression of it floating above the sweeping, wave-like walls. Arcos de la iglesia de Ntra. Sra. de Loreto The most notable event at the festival is Bous a la Mar, or Bulls to the Sea. Bull-running events like this are held throughout Spain at different times of the year including just along the coast at Dénia in July.  As in Dénia, this bull running event takes place by the seafront. A sandy area with spectator seating at one side and the sea at the other forms the bullring. A bull is released into the ring and young men will taunt and goad it with the aim of getting the animal to fall into the sea (before being picked up by a boat!). The bull soon learns the rules of the game though, and the men will spend far more time in the sea than the bull; it will start to run, parallel to the sea, at the men who then drop into the water one by one in what looks like an unusual take on synchronised swimming.
Other events during Javea´s festival include sport tournaments and Chess Championships. There is a special children´s day with games, a parade, free drinks, and ice-cream; and a special day too for senior citizen with music and dancing. The programme for 2013’s Mare de Déu de Loreto is yet to be confirmed but click here to see last year’s guide and roughly what you can expect. Javea is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes’ drive from Alicante Airport.