This weekend Xàbia will be celebrating the ultimate five day ‘long weekend’ – or ‘puente’ – as a series of local, regional and national fiestas align.
Thursday 8th October – Local Holiday
Thursday is a local holiday. It was moved from April 20th, the feast day of San Vicente Ferrer, the patron saint of Valencia, under authority of the Generalitat Valenciana who had authorised municipalities to change their nominated local holiday dates which had been approved at the end of 2019.
Xàbia, like the rest of the country, was in lockdown in April and the town hall elected to change this holiday to October to provide a five day weekend to take advantage of the culmination of the Fogueres de Sant Joan festivities which had been postponed and moved to the beginning of October. Unfortunately the evolution of the health crisis and the uncertainty surrounding it forced the organisers to later announce the complete cancellation of the 2020 event.
The weekly market will be operating as usual whilst the Muncipal Market (aka the ‘indoor market’) will also be open on this day.
Friday 9th October – Regional Holiday
Friday is a regional holiday in to celebrate Día de la Comunitat Valenciana which marks the date of the entrance into the city of Valencia by Jaime I in 1238. Consequently, October 9th is a date that has become regarded as the dawn of the Valencian identity since the Aragonese king established the Kingdom of Valencia as an autonomous region within his realm.
Under normal circumstances, this would be the day when Xàbia would be handing out two special community awards, one for solidarity and another for civic values, in an official civic ceremony in the town hall building. However, in July the council was forced to cancel this year’s event (which would have been the 25th anniversary of the awards).
The indoor market will be open.
Monday 12th October – National Holiday
October 12th is Spain’s national holiday, the Fiesta Nacional de España. The holiday has evolved since it was established in 1935 to honour the international Hispanic community. October 12th is also the date that the Genoan Cristobal Colón landed in the Bahamas in 1492 – it is known as ‘Columbus Day’ in the USA – which encouraged the evolution of the Spanish Empire. In 1987 it was re-named as the Fiesta Nacional de España.
Once again, under normal circumstances there would be a grand parade of Spain’s Armed Forces through the centre of Madrid which would be attended by thousands of flag-waving supporters. However, this was formally cancelled back in July, a blow to the Legion Española who would have been marking their centenary with an even greater presence in this spectacular parade.
Since October 12th is a national day – a “red day” – most if not all businesses will be closed. Restaurants and bars will be open (many with special hours) and reservation would be highly recommended, especially during the current health crisis when capacities are limited.