6th May 2019
The fiestas honouring the town's
treasured image of Jesús Nazareno came to an
end on Sunday evening with the solemn ascent of the
statue to the blue-domed chapel of Calvario. And for
the first time since the image's arrival in Xàbia
more than 250 years ago, a woman was amongst those who
carried it along the two kilometre route from the heart
of the historic centre.
The festivities are the most religious
celebrations of the year in Xàbia and honour
the image which arrived in the village more than 250
years ago as a gift from the Duchess of Medinaceli.
Although the original image was destroyed during the
Spanish Civil War, the exact replica wears the original
cloak which was rescued from the original image before
it was set ablaze and it is still the most-revered image in
the town today, even holding the post of mayor en
perpetuum which was bestowed on it during the bicentennial
celebrations of 1967.
After ten days of bull-running,
flower crosses, theatre, concerts and the offering of
flowers, the image was due to be carried back up to
the iconic blue-domed chapel of Calvario built to house
the statue after its arrival on May 3rd as is tradition.
However, after a gloriously sunny day during which the
thunderous mascletà shook the town, the
clouds began to roll in and the rain fell, not hard
but enough to force the cancellation of the procession
as well as the fireworks which would have followed.
The ascent was re-scheduled for Sunday.
The sky was clear as the image of
Jesús Nazareno was carried through the doors
of the ancient church of San Bartolomé and began
the procession through the historic centre, accompanied
by hundreds of townsfolk carrying candles, some even
covering the distance bare-foot. The procession passed
through the Placeta del Convent and around to Calle
Jesús Nazareno where the road surface
had been covered in flowers. And it was here that 42-year-old Chus
Pobes Serrano, a resident of the street, took the weight
of the image on her shoulders to become the first woman
in 252 years to do so, for the carrying of the statue
has long been the responsibility of the men of the village.
With the image safely arriving at
its chapel, a spectacular firework display brought the
celebrations to a close.