The best Festivals in Alicante: A Year-Round Fiesta

Alicante, a lively coastal city on Spain's south-east coast, is known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning beaches and lively festivals, according to Throughout the year, locals and visitors alike come together to celebrate various traditions, from historical reenactments to uninhibited revelry. Here are the top festivals that make Alicante a year-round fiesta:

  1. Las Hogueras de San Juan: A Fiery Spectacle

    Date: June 20-24

    Las Hogueras de San Juan, also known as the Bonfires of Saint John, is Alicante’s most famous festival. The city comes alive with colorful parades, massive papier-mâché sculptures (known as “ninots”), and nightly fireworks. On the night of June 24th, these ninots are set ablaze in a spectacular display of flames and light, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness.

  2. Santa Faz: A Spiritual Gathering

    Date: Second Thursday after Easter

    Santa Faz is a pilgrimage that attracts thousands of devotees. They walk from the city center to the Monastery of Santa Faz, carrying a relic believed to be the veil of Veronica. The atmosphere is both solemn and festive, as people come together to honor their faith and enjoy traditional pastries called “rollos de Santa Faz.”

  3. Moors and Christians: A Historical Reenactment

    Date: Various dates throughout the year

    The Moors and Christians festival commemorates the battles between the Moors (Muslims) and the Christians during Spain’s medieval history. Participants dress in elaborate costumes, reenacting the clashes and subsequent reconciliations. The grand parades, music, and dance performances make this a captivating experience.

  4. Arts Festivals: A Creative Showcase (Throughout the Year)

    Alicante hosts several arts festivals, celebrating music, dance, theater, and visual arts. From the International Jazz Festival to the Contemporary Dance Festival, these events showcase local and international talent. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in creativity and cultural expression.

  5. Reyes Magos: Three Kings’ Parade

    Date: January 5

    On the eve of Epiphany, the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos) arrive in Alicante by boat. The city welcomes them with a grand parade featuring colorful floats, music, and sweets thrown to the crowd. Children eagerly await their gifts, and families gather to celebrate the arrival of Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar. This parade blends religious tradition with lively festivities, creating a magical atmosphere for people of all ages to enjoy.

  6. Carnaval: Uninhibited Fun

    Date: February or March (depending on Easter)

    Alicante’s Carnaval is a time for revelry, costumes, and dancing. The streets fill with masked participants, and everyone joins in the festive spirit. Parades, live music, and street food create an atmosphere of joy and celebration. This festival provides an opportunity for people to let loose and express themselves in a vibrant and colorful environment, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among participants.

  7. Semana Santa: Holy Week

    Date: The week leading up to Easter

    Semana Santa (Holy Week) is observed with religious processions, where statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary are carried through the streets. The somber yet awe-inspiring atmosphere reflects the passion and sacrifice of Easter.

  8. Cruces de Mayo: May Crosses

    Date: May 3

    During Cruces de Mayo, colorful crosses adorned with flowers are displayed throughout the city. It’s a delightful sight, and locals celebrate with music, dance, and traditional food.

  9. Mercado Medieval: Step Back in Time

    Date: Late June

    The Medieval Market takes visitors back to the Middle Ages. Stalls selling handmade crafts, medieval costumes, and delicious treats line the streets. Jugglers, minstrels, and knights add to the enchanting ambiance.

  10. Virgen del Socorro: Raval Roig Celebration

    Date: September 8

    The Virgen del Socorro festival honors the patron saint of Alicante. Processions, concerts, and fireworks create a festive atmosphere, especially in the historic Raval Roig neighborhood.

  11. Nochebuena/Navidad: Christmas Magic

    Date: December 24-25

    Christmas in Alicante is magical. The streets are adorned with lights, and families gather for Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) feasts. The Cathedral of San Nicolás hosts midnight Mass, and the city celebrates with joy and warmth.

  12. Nochevieja: New Year’s Grape Tradition

    Date: December 31

    As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, locals eat twelve grapes—one for each chime of the clock. It’s a fun tradition believed to bring good luck for the coming year.

In Alicante, each passing month unfolds as a vibrant tapestry of celebration and tradition, beckoning all who wander its sun-kissed shores to partake in the endless fiesta of life. Whether drawn by the allure of historical pageantry, the intoxicating rhythms of music and dance, or the simple joys of communal revelry, there's always a reason to celebrate in this coastal haven.