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Ultimate fiesta guide for Javea


If you don’t know when a particular fiesta (festivity) is held in Javea, then you’ll need to bookmark this page!

To find out when fiestas are held in Javea with our ultimate guide of the fiesta program.

Including festive celebrations such as Jesus Nazareno, Moors and Christians, the nationally acclaimed  Corre Focs and Fires of Sant Joan (Fogueres de San Joan).



January


The Three Kings

Typically a float and dance parade where the three kings of orient: Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, along with their pages and entourage throw sweets and small toys to the onlooking children. Celebrated during the afternoon of the 5th January. Tradition has it that family’s find their gifts have been delivered when they get home after the 3 kings procession.

In recent years, Father Christmas has become popular. However, local Spanish resident sway more to the three kings celebrations over Christmas. Their way is to have a large family dinner on the eve of the 24th December and just small gifts or the gift of money but their main exchange of presents is during the 3 Kings celebrations.

Fiesta of San Antonio animal procession in Javea

‘Fira i porrat de San Antoni’ is traditionally a celebration heeded by the agricultural society for the saints in exchange for a good harvest and fertile cattle. One of the most famous ‘Porrats’ is celebrated in Javea during 3 weeks of January in honor of San Antonio. During these three weeks kids can have fun at the amusement fair located at Palmela avenue, in addition to traditional acts such as the blessing of the animals, horse parade (where kids can enjoy horse and cart rides) and the ‘Cremá del Pi’ (Burning of the pine tree) is celebrated.

San Sebastian is the patron of Jávea. The origin of this title is wrapped in legend, for some it’s because centuries ago he freed the Javienses from a plague epidemic and for others, San Sebastian is the patron saint of the stonemasons. Given the populations tradition; it’s logical to be granted this name.

Celebrated on 20th January, in recent years; a revival of the full fiestas celebrations have made a come back. Instead of only a church mas and firecrackers, San Sebastian is celebrated in true form with bull running, parades and children’s activities, along with the blessing of the animals and the burning of the pine tree.


February / March


Carnival in Javea

Carnival, a word originating from the Italian tongue, ‘Carnevale’ means ‘meat can be eaten’. Historians believe this celebration dates back some 5000 years to Sumeria and Egypt. Also, during the Roman Empire there were similar celebrations. Nowadays, carnival is mainly associated with countries of Catholic tradition. 

Carnival is celebrated before Lent, that is before the time of fasting and abstinence that the Catholic Church marks to prepare for the great feast of Easter. Carnival allowed for everything, for that reason people disguised themselves and used masks to protect their identity.

Carnival in Javea has been celebrated since the 80’s and has gained in popularity for both adults and children alike. Usually beginning with a parade of the towns children in fancy dress, after which is a musical show for them. Giving way to the adult celebration of a colourful parade of fancy dress costumes, ending in the Plaza de la Constitution with mobile disco and bar, until the early hours of the morning.

Traditionally, after carnival in Javea, the burial of the sardine is celebrated a week later. During which a sardine is symbolically burned, representing the vices and debauchery that emerged during the party celebration. The fire is again, as in many traditions of the Mediterranean, symbol of regeneration and purification, leaving everything bad in the ashes.


April / May


Celebrations of Jesús Nazareno in Javea

Although San Sebastian is the patron saint of Jávea, the fiestas in honor of Jesús Nazareno are more deeply rooted with the ‘Xabiencs’ (Javea/Xàbia townsfolk) showing greater devotion.

The figurine of Nazareno resides in the Calvario church until the third Sunday of Lent, on which during the start of festivities is taken on parade through the town, to the Church of San Bartholomew in the historic centre. Where it’s venerated until 3rd May, the day of return procession back to the Calvario church. Ending in a spectacular firework display. This celebration traditionally offers ‘bous al carrer’ (street bull running) and a beautiful variation of ‘May Crosses’. Placed outside the homes of a selected few that have chosen to participate, by designing and creating the May Crosses, traditionally with flowers and natural materials which are then judged and honoured according to their originality and presentation.


June


Bonfires of Sant Joan in Javea (Fogueres)

Summers arrival is massively celebrated across the whole of Spain with the bonfires of San Joan, with those of the Mediterranean coast being the most popular. Celebrated between 14-24 June. A festivity of ancient origin, in which rituals and other activities are mixed with fire, gunpowder, water and music. An impressive welcome to the summer! On one hand the rite of lighting a bonfire meant ’to give more strength to the sun’, as after these dates the days would become shorter and the ’sun weakens’. On the other hand; it purifies those who contemplate it. 

A possible coincidence with the Saint’s holiday that taught baptism in the Jordan River, reflects the symbiosis between the Christian tradition and other previous beliefs.

The program of San Joan fiestas in Javea is varied and colourful; including sports activities, parades, musical performances and concerts, offerings of flowers in the procession of the ‘Ofrenda de flores’. It’s a celebration for all tastes and ages. Very popular are the bull running, Correfocs (fire running) and nit dels focs (firenight) which have become a huge tourist attraction in recent years. These festivities end on the 24th June with the burning of the bonfire with a spectacular pyro-musical fireworks show.

Nit dels Focs in Javea

Since time can remember, Jávea/Xàbia has celebrated the Nit dels Focs (Firenight) with the arrival of the summer solstice. A consolidated  event within the San Joan fiestas.

The Nit dels Focs in Javea is a magical mysterious night, with true Mediterranean character, as it runs through the unmatched surroundings of Javea’s historical centre. Of ludic character, full of symbolism and tradition, its roots have made it a Festival of Tourist Interest by the Valencian Community.

The eve of 23rd June begins with the ‘cremà dels focs’ (fires burning) where there used to be access doors in the old fort wall. Bonfires prepared for people to jump over, whilst wearing flower crowns on their heads. All the ‘Penyas’ (individual groups of people/clubs who meet and do activities together) who form the San Joan fiestas, taking part dressed in their coloured blouses with distinct emblems. Later meeting up at the ‘Cremà de la foguera de trastos vells’ (burning of the old things bonfire) which is organised by ‘El Gerrot’. In the heat and light of the fire, they sing an old song that goes: Como una flor que ebria de besos esclata, Jávea por San Juan en fiestas se desata…" (‘Like a flower that drink with slavish kisses, Jávea for San Joan at parties is unleashed’). 

A night ending with the most amazing and spectacular ‘Correfocs’ (Fire running) following a route that corresponds to the old layout of what was the fort walled town of Javea.


July


Moors and Christians in Javea

Festivities going back to deep heritage throughout the southeast of the peninsula. Festivals full of history, that have obtained immense popularity for its spectacular colourful parades. Commemorating a past of coexistence and struggle between two cultures, the Muslim and the Christian. A festivity representing the clashes that took place during the Moorish invasion and the subsequent Christian reconquest.

Moors and Christians is celebrated in Javea on the third week of July, at Javea port ‘Aduanas del Mar’, with colourful parades and the reenactment of historical events such as the Muslim landing from the sea, the capture of the castle by the Christians and the surrender of Muslim troops.

Live Chess game in Javea

The organisers of the ‘Festes Mare de Déu de Loreto’ (festivities in the port) , have organised a live chess game since 1996. Making their mark as since 2002 as it became a declared Fiesta of National Tourist Interest since.

A representation of a play based on a live chess game, performed by a group of Javea’s school children of aged between 6 and 14 years. It’s an original and fun idea with the inclusion of some historical aspects.


August


Virgen de los Ángeles

Festivities in honor of the Virgen de los Ángeles in La Plana are celebrated around the old monastery at the start of August. Built in 1962, on an old hermitage, was the start of Virgin of the Angels. In the past, friends and family would come up to the houses at La Plana to help celebrate and bring cheer. A celebration with mass, a procession and ‘la verbena’; which is a party in aid of patron saint. It’s a fiesta that remains true to yesteryear, with the awakening with dolçaina I tabalet music, tastings of coca-maria (almond cake) and mistela (sweet wine).

Lost over time and recovered in 2010, Portitxol festivities are celebrated on the second Sunday of August. Located in Portitxol, one of the most beautiful spots in Javea found between La Caleta and Cap Negre. ‘La festa’ celebrated by ‘els portitxolers’ with music, traditional dance, games and meals with lots of cheer and local companionability for all ages.


August / September


Virgin of Loreto

Festivities in honor of the Virgin of Loreto mark the end of the summer, usually held from the end of August to the 8th September in Duanes del Mar (Javea port).  Originating back to 1850 on the arrival of an Italian ship which ran aground in the waters off Cap Prim. It was carrying the image of the Virgin of Loreto which was saved along with the ships bell. So, of maritime origin in fitting surroundings of the old port, traditionally linked to (this day) fishing and export activities (in days past).

Offering a big program, these festivities highlight the popular ‘Bous a la mar’ (Bulls at sea), held in the port itself on the breakwater and where participants throw themselves into the sea when the bull runs at them. One of the most adored and deeply rooted traditions is going to the ‘Baret’; a pop-up bar assembled by the Festival Commission where you can eat fresh fish (caught hours before for the local fish market: La Lonja) and drink cheap beer (or whatever you may fancy) and soak up the atmosphere. Other acts include parades of the commission, offering of flowers and musical performances. A solemn religious ceremony, on the 8th September marks the end of festivities of Mare de Déu de Loreto, along with a spectacular firework display. A firework display usually fired from the sea itself! In honour of its patron and its sailors.


October


9th October is Day of the Valencian Community. Most business are closed, some shop and most restaurants are open. Javea town hall celebrates the annual Vila de Xabia community awards.


November


All Saints Day

The 1st November is All Saints Day (day of the dead) where its  tradition is to visit tombs (nichos) to adorn them with fresh flowers and to generally tidy them up. Its a day of National celebration and most business are shut.


December


Puente de la Inmaculada

Otherwise known as Bridge of the Immaculate, Bridge of the Constitution or the December Bridge, is the holiday taken nationally on the 6th and 8th December. It’s one of the most looked forward to breaks from the Spanish people, before Christmas. Although black friday is now creeping into the local calendar, the festivities based on the Day of the Constitution and Immaculate Conception has always been the beginning of the Christmas season.

Santa Lucia

A small and pretty church located on a hill by the old town, built at the turn of the 16th century. During the Middle Ages, the saint was called upon to fight eye disease, probably because her name is related to light. Festivities are celebrated on the 13 December with a simple program combining religion and get-togethers. On the eve of the 13th, the Mayorals; with music from the dulzaina and tamboril are accompanied to their street to deposit a bouquet of flowers in the holy niche of their street. On the morning of the 13th, the pathway up to the small church is filled with townsfolk and visitors who go up for pilgrimage. Once arrived at the chapel a mass is held and tradition is to serve hot chocolate and churros to attendees.


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