Las Fiestas Mayores Patronales, Benidorm
Las Fiestas Mayores Patronales is an annual festival which celebrates Benidorm´s patron saints; Virgen del Sufragio and San Jaime Apostle. The fiesta lasts for six days and always begins on the second weekend of November. This year (2013), the fiesta will run from Friday the 8th of November until the 13th. This is Benidom´s main annual festival and features everything you could want from a Spanish fiesta; live music; food, dancing, bull running, a fairground, fireworks and colourful parades.
Benidorm will sound like a war-zone at times during the festival with the frequency of fireworks displays. At 8am on each morning of the festival, fireworks are let off in the town ensuring everyone is up bright and early for the day’s festivities. ‘Mascletas’ (firecrackers display) are let off every afternoon during the fiesta. Great long chains of them are set off in streets and town-squares. After they’re lit, the bangs build up into a deafening cacophony and the area soon fills with smoke. Most nights end with a fireworks display but if you only catch one, make sure it’s the grand finale; the whole festival culminates in one spectacular show above Poniente Beach.
An important part of the festival is the offering of flowers to a statue of the Virgen del Sufragio (Lady of Suffrage). Following a silent procession through the streets of the Old Town, colourful flowers are offered to the figure of the patron saint in the Church of San Jaime. Flowers are a key part of the celebration, with large bouquets decorating the streets, floats and carriages throughout the fiesta.
The festival officially comes to an end on the Wednesday, but this hasn’t stopped the town’s British expat community staging an annual fancy dress party on the Thursday. The event has grown over the years and is now one of the most popular parts of the festival among both Spanish and British locals. The party starts at midday around Calle Gerona and ‘The British Square’ and anyone is welcome to attend and see out the festival for another year.
The programme for the 2013 fiesta has not yet been published but should be available at the Visit Benidorm website soon. In the meantime you can see Mayores Patronales 2012 programme for an idea of what to expect.
Benidorm is around a 40 minute drive from Alicante Airport and Drivalia Car Rental.