javeamigos.com | INDEXjaveamigos.com | JAVEA - FIESTA GUIDEjaveamigos.com | BAR & RESTAURANT DIRECTORYjaveamigos.com | WALKING IN JAVEAjaveamigos.com | JAVEA - HOLIDAY GUIDE

javeamigos.com | JAVEA - BUSINESS DIRECTORYjaveamigos.com | JAVEA - PAPERWORKjaveamigos.com | SPORT IN JAVEAjaveamigos.com | JAVEA - EVENTS GUIDEjaveamigos.com | ADVERTISE WITH US



Día de les Quintades
Some years ago, when we were holidaying in Jávea during the Sant Joan celebrations, we visited the tourist office and were told that the 'quintàs parade' was really not of any interest to tourists and that we shouldn’t bother; we’re very glad that we ignored their advice and discovered an amazing evening of extreme partying. The 'Día de les Quintades”'begins early with the 'despertà', the noisy early morning wake-up call with music and thunderous firecrackers that rouses the willing – and the unwilling – from their slumbers and it is traditional for the “quintà” celebrating its 25th anniversary to take part in the occasion.

In 2013 things changed for a few years. In the past, the quintàs had congregated by the tosca stone cross at Portal del Clot in the early evening sunshine for a messy parade to the main square of Plaza de la Constitución for a noisy disco and, later, an evening of live music. Between 2013 and 2015, the parade was brought forward by almost eight hours to late morning when the quintàs gathered in the Placeta del Convent and then paraded just a noisily to the bull arena for fun water games under a hot sunshine. For 2016 the parade returned to its evening slot and back to the route between Portal del Clot to the Plaza de la Constitución. But in 2017 it was back to the late morning when after a special barbeque brunch together, they paraded from Placeta del Convent to the bull arena for a few drinks, some water games and catching up before disappearing off in individual groups for a long lunch in one of the many bars and restaurants in town; those celebrating special anniversaries sometimes head off to more salubrious surroundings such as Salones Carrasco.

Whatever time of the day it is, the parade more or less follows the same format. The quintàs gather together for their special parade in various states of sobriety and although it may not look like it, they depart in a defined order, herded into position by slightly frazzled commission members. Often accompanied by their own 'charanga' brass band the noise can become quite terrific – and so does the atmosphere. Affectionate hugs and playful slaps are the order of the day for many of these people haven’t seen each other for at least, ooh, two hours. Popular fiesta tunes fill the air, the same tunes that are often throughout the ten days of festivities. It’s a classic example of organised chaos. Embracing like reunited long-lost friends, the 'quintos' share the contents of those plastic bottles that you just know contain much more than simple pop, milling around quite aimlessly until they are firmly coaxed into some sort of order. The previous year’s 'quintà' tends to lead everyone else in the parade followed by the 'quintàs' celebrating their special anniversaries from those celebrating their 25th year and down through those commemorating their respective milestones of 20, 15, 10 and five years. The rest follow in some sort of order and then the newest quintà brings up the rear.

As the sun begins to dip towards the horizon, the action transfers to the main square where an open-air disco begins to pump out the party favourites as well as a few modern classics. The volume is almost deafening at times, the music debatable. Sometimes there's an added attraction such as a foam party or live drummers. The dancing continues as the sun drops behind Montgó; it’s a night for partying and it’s far from over. The crowd swells; the special Fogueres Commission bar does good business as do the watering holes around the square. And then, at around midnight, the emphasis changes to live music, usually Spanish rock, on the big stage that has been set up on one side of the square. It’s loud but curiously infectious music, the large crowd in front of the stage swaying and singing along; everyone is determined to have a good time and there’s still a decent gathering as the music ends at around five in the morning. As the last notes disappear into the dawn, the determined have little option but to return home. They will have to recharge their batteries over the next few days as the festivities are about to crank up a notch.

Sereneta a Las Reines y Presidentas
On several days during the festivities, the ‘festeros’ will have walked many kilometres around much of the town in procession; some neighbourhood associations like that of Freginal lay on food and drink for the weary cavalcade, always dressed in those sweltering traditional costumes. However, on one evening, they get some respite when a parade comes to them; the ‘serenata’. Since 1995, the musicians of ‘La Tuna de Xàbia’ have been cultivating a fantastic reputation not just across Spain but also throughout Europe. Dressed in their typical black velvet suits with ribbons covered in the crests of cities which have delighted in the sounds of their mandolins, the group visit each reina – the Fogueres queens – and the presidents of the quintà and of the Commissions to serenade them. Their homes and indeed those of all the ladies taking part, can be identified by their decorated doorways, surrounded by pine branches and topped with an image of a bonfire. It can be somewhat chaotic at times, especially in the narrow streets of the historic centre as the musicians and dignitaries of the local council and the Fogueres Commission exchange greetings with the queens, presidents and their families whilst the general public jostles to catch a glimpse, their arms reaching up above heads to grab a lopsided photograph or two of the occasion. .

Cabalagata de Carrozas
On the final evening of the fiestas, there is the final parade of the festivities; the procession of the floats. Following the same route of the parade of the peñas, this is a slightly more formal cavalcade of the fiesta queens, both current and those of the quintàs celebrated their 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries. There’s music from the 'charanga' brass bands and sweets fly in all directions as excited children watch the parade armed with plastic bags to collect them; it’s a dentist’s nightmare. Once again, the best place to watch from the elevated road close to the Cruz Roja in Avda. de Alicante.

Live Music and Dancing
Much like the bulls, music and dancing is an essential part of the Spanish fiesta and there's no shortage of either. Throughout the ten days of fiesta, there are a number of live music performances around town, many lasting well into the early hours of the morning. Many of these are the manufactured 'super-groups' known as 'orquestas', a complete package of entertainment which is perfect for the fiesta. Their song playlist tends to be well-known by all ages, a mixture of old and new pop classics played at full volume and with plenty of enthusiasm from the group’s often enormous entourage. Due to their size, most of them tend to perform on a big stage in the Plaza de la Constitución but the smaller
  groups can be found elsewhere around town.

In addition, fiestas have often provided the perfect stage for up-and-coming young bands as well as those who have done the mileage and make a few bucks on the fiesta circuit. There is often live music in other areas of the town, such as Thiviers and Frechinal, close to the football ground. Look out for Jávea’s very own Bradmis, a pop group which has been playing music for almost 50 years! Formed in 1965, their name was formed from the initials of their favourite bands of the time: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Dynamc Duo, Mustang, Iruñacos and the Shadows. At their height, they played across Spain, had spots on national television and even had offers to travel to Finland. In 2005 they released a special 40th anniversary album which features perhaps their most celebrated song 'Jávea' to which the CD Jávea football team currently runs out onto the pitch. These days they play at almost every fiesta in Jávea and Sant Joan is no exception as young and old turn out to dance and sing along to popular favourites with Jávea’s perhaps most famous pop group.

Part 2 - Bull-Running · the marmite of fiestas


Part 4 - Nit dels Focs · the magical night of fires

Share on Tumblr

This article has been created through experience and getting involved. It's very much a labour of love. Please don't copy this article to your website without first asking and then only do so with an appropriate acknowledgement and link to javeamigos.com.

javeamigos.com | BESIDES THE SEA