There are not many places in Spain that enjoy the fiesta as much as Xàbia. During a normal year, there are more than 15 separate festive celebrations, not including the national and regional holidays, and no month goes by without at least one opportunity to party.
So we have made of list of ten of our most favourite fiesta events. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tell us other great things that we should all do to take advantage of the fantastic place like Jávea.
10: Kings bearing gifts (Los Reyes Magos, January)
Having survived the excesses of Christmas and the New Year, many people will be looking forward to taking a rest from the celebrations. However, the final obstacle of the Christmas season in Spain is the arrival of the Three Kings bearing gifts. In Xàbia, they arrive by fishing boat and parade first through the port and then, as darkness falls, through the town to be welcomed by excited children. We love the family feel of this special fiesta, an occasion for everyone.
LINK: Fiesta – Los Reyes Magos
9: Getting all traditional (Fiesta Portitxol, August)
In 2010, the musicians and dancers of Grup Danses del Portitxol revived a very special fiesta after a 50-year absence, a celebration of what it is to be Valencian. Held just across the road from the tosca cross overlooking the island of Portitxol, the spirit of the fiesta has always attracted us, a desire to keep alive traditions by both young and old.
LINK: Fiesta Portitxol
8: Cake and Mistela (Fiesta Santa Llúcia – December)
Although the feast day falls on December 13th, it is the evening before that really raises spirits in the town as the cold and darkness of winter tightens its grip. An informal parade makes it way around the streets, the participants carrying huge baskets of coca maria and bottles of mistela, offering them to the neighbours who open their doors in delight, despite the chill of the night.
LINK: Fiesta Santa Llúcia
7: The burning of the pine tree (San Antonio Abad, January)
The burning of the San Antonio Pine has been a tradition in the Mediterranean region for a long time, clearly linked with an ancient desire to give strength to the sun to lengthen the days. We love this special evening for both its significance and the fact that it brings people out from the warmth their houses to join together just for an hour or so to celebrate the start of the journey to spring.
LINK: Fiesta San Antonio Abad
6: Serenading the flower crosses (Fiesta Jesús Nazareno, May)
The fiestas honouring the town’s treasured image of Jesús Nazareno are probably the most religious celebrations of the year. On the evening of May 1st, the minstrels of Tuna de Xàbia travel around the town to sing songs in front of each of the dozen or so crosses that have appeared almost overnight. We love the music, the community spirit and, of course, the coca maria and mistela that tends to be given out at each cross!
5: Kicking off summer in style (Fogueres de Sant Joan, June)
The day of the Pregón not only kicks off the biggest party of the year in Xàbia but has become a symbolic start to summer; the temperatures are rising and the schools are about to close. We love this special evening for bringing the town together as one excited unit keen to celebrate something special, sharing a communal picnic together before heading off into the narrow streets to ging their hearts out to Sant Joan.
4: Fireworks over the sea (Fiesta Mare de Déu de Loreto, September)
The festivities in the port honouring the patron saint of Mare de Déu de Loreto are most famous for two things: the Bous a la Mar and the spectacular firework display on the final night. After being forced to cancel in 2014 due to fire concerns, the organisers simply moved it further out to sea, the pyrotechnics launched from special rafts. We love this event for it brings a definitive end to summer, the opposite bookmark to Sant Joan.
3: Music, costumes and a little sweat (Moros i Cristians, July)
It would be difficult for us not to put the final gala parade of the Moors & Christians in the top three since we’ve been participants since 2016 and last year captained the first all-foreigner filà to parade in Xàbia to support the 20th anniversary of Filà Schaitans. It’s hot and sweaty in those heavy costumes but we love being part of it!
LINK: Fiesta Moros i Cristians
2: Fireworks and Rock ‘n’ Roll (Fogueres de Sant Joan, June)
Xàbia’s biggest party of the year will soon be coming to an end but we’re determined to leave it with a bang and the pyrotechnics on the final night have become stuff of legend. Set to music, often honouring pop stars such as David Bowie or film franchises such as Marvel, the explosions and colour are perfectly choreographed in front of thousands of people who have gathered in the main square to watch them.
1: Night of the Fires (Fogueres de Sant Joan, June)
This very special night is one not to be missed – the magical Nit dels Focs. In recent years it has attracted between 15,000 and 17,000 people to the town. Whilst other municipalities have fire-jumping on the beach, Xàbia’s celebrations are in the historic centre. The bars and restaurants are full, the streets alive with noise and colour and the squares echo to the sound of those who want to party until dawn. A perfect way to start summer!