January 1 - New Year's Day (national holiday)
January 6 - Epiphany
Even the street benches are especially decorated for the Alicante Carnival. On Saturday, called Sábado Ramblero, there are parades down Rambla Avenue featuring carnival costumes, ending with a festivity called the “Funeral Wake and Burial of the Sardine”. Held on the weekend and days leading up to Ash Wednesday.
March 19 - Father's Day
Moors and Christians
This age-old festivity, commemorating former Christian battles for the reconquest of these lands from the Moors, is held in various quarters of Alicante and all include entry processions, called entradas – with groups from each side parading into the town in filaes all arrayed in splendid costume. They take place in Villafranqueza (March), San Blas (June) and in the quarters of Altozano and José Antonio in August
March 24 - 27th - Easter 2005
Semana Santa (Holy Week)
From Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday a total of 27 brotherhoods take part in processions carrying floats or effigies called pasos, some of which are authentic masterworks by famous artists such as Salzillo, Bussi, Avalos or Castillo Lastrucci. Of note among the processions are that of the Holy Cross because it goes up the steep streets in the old quarter, the Procession of Silence, and the “Two Encounters” between Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The Santa Cena (Holy Supper) float is the largest in Spain and is carried by 208 porters. This is a movable feast falling in either March or April.
May 1 - Labour Day (national)
Cruces de Mayo (May Crosses)
Crosses made of flowers lining its streets. The finest win awards, and dances and children’s games are staged. Held from 1 to 3 May.
Junio 20- 24 - San Juan
Hogueras de San Juan (St John’s Bonfires)
This is the most outstanding festivity held in Alicante, declared to be of International Tourist Interest. It is based on the ancient custom of burning useless objects to celebrate the summer solstice, connecting with the feast day of St John the Baptist. It was first held in 1928, with lots of colour, gunpowder and bonfires. Of note are the Flower Offerings to Our Lady of Remedy (22 June), the International Folklore Parade (23 June) and the mascletás or fireworks competitions (20-24 June). There are also processions with marching bands, outdoor dances and sports competitions. The feast coincides with a bullfighting festival bringing in leading matadors, on foot and on horseback. At midnight on St John’s Night (from 24 to 25 June) a huge fireworks display is set off from the top of Mount Benacantil, and all the bonfires, and monumental floats made in papier-mâché and wood are burnt to ashes. The holidays continue until 29 June, St Peter’s Day. During the second half, a Medieval market is held in the old quarter of town, and from 25 to 29 June there is a fireworks competition, with displays being set off from Postiguet Beach.
July 16 - Virgen del Carmen (sea virgin)
Virgen del Carmen (The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt Carmel)
This maritime city decorates its fishing boats and other vessels on the day sailors venerate their patroness. The biggest celebration, however, is held on the island of Tabarca, where an image of the Virgin is carried on a boat in a sailor’s procession. Held on 16 July.
August 15 - Feast of the Assumption (national - called Virgin de la Paloma)
Virgen del Socorro (Our Lady of Succour)
The Raval quarter, once populated with fishermen, organises a feast in honour of its patron saint, the virgin after whom the chapel and the main street, overlooking Postiguet Beach, were named. The festivity includes cooking contests, a procession, games, dances, etc. From 5 to 8 September.
October 12 - Spain's National Day (national - called Día de la Hispanidad)
November 1 - All Saints Day (national)
November 9 - Almudena (Madrid capital only)
December 6 - Constitution Day (national)
December 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception (national - this
year falls on
December 25 - Christmas Day (national)