Top 10 Costa Blanca Fiestas
1. Moors and Christians, Alcoy
This exciting and noisy spectacle takes place every April. Thousands of people dress up in lavish costumes to re-enact the battles between the Moors and Christians. Smoke fills the streets as the two groups fight it out with muskets accompanied by the sound of kettle drums and trumpets. As well as being the best Moors and Christians fiesta in Spain, it is also said to be one of the best spectacles in the world – no mean feat indeed.
2. Fallas, Denia
Denia takes part in the unique Valencian fiesta called fallas which commemorates St Joseph on March 19. For several days large papier-mache statues, often taking a satirical swipe at politicians or celebrities, are mounted in the streets . On March 19 they are burnt to a cinder. This is a fantastic fiesta – and very noisy – with fireworks and firecrackers being let off at all hours of the day and night.
3. Carnival, Benidorm
Many towns enjoy a carnival parade before the 40 days of Lent begin. Benidorm can boast one of the biggest and best on the Costa Blanca. Enjoy the glitz of the parade, dance to the music and get swept away by the carnival spirit.
4. Easter Parades, Orihuela
Thousands of Orihuela's residents take part in the solemn parades through the old quarters to commemorate the events leading up to Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection. The Good Friday procession is particularly poignant as it takes place in complete silence with the only sound being the marching feet. The magnificent sculptures by renowned artists including Salzillo, from nearby Murcia, are paraded through the streets throughout the week.
5. San Juan bonfires, Alicante
Families and friends flock to the beaches armed with food and drink where they light bonfires for St Juan night to celebrate the summer solstice. Daredevils will jump over the flames in the hope it will bring luck and prosperity.
6. Elche Palm Sunday
As befitting the city of 200,000 palm trees, Elche puts on a grand show on Palm Sunday. Sombre processions are held in the historic city centre with intricately-woven palms taking pride of place. It is so spectacular that the parade has been declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest.
7. Bous a la mar (bull running), Denia
Twice a day during the bull-running festival, youngsters and the young at heart test their nerves and their speed against the bulls. They head for the makeshift bullring by the port and get ready for their biggest test of all. After the adrenalin rush of the bull running, they have to encourage the bulls to jump into the sea .
8. Oktoberfest beer festival, Calpe
The German population on the Costa Blanca has transported the special Munich Oktoberfest to Calpe for several years now. Tankards of foaming ale are washed down with the finest German cuisine. After several glasses of fine ale, it is tempting to join in with the singing, dancing and general merriment.
9. Three Kings, Benidorm
On the night of January 5, excited children line the streets to watch the Three Kings arrive in town to give out presents (but only if they have been good). This is a colourful parade for the entire family to enjoy.
10. Mystery Play, Elche
Elche hosts its unique mystery play which dates from the Middle Ages, which has been declared a Masterpiece of World Oral and Intangible Heritage by UNESCO. The play tells the story of the Assumption and Coronation in Heaven of the Virgin Mary and is held in the Santa Maria Basilica every August.