In late April the “Moros y Christianos” (Muslims and Christians) fiesta commemorates the expulsion of the Moors from Alicante in the 13th century. Literally hundreds of locals celebrate the festivity by way of donning often elaborate costumes and parading through the city streets.
The main event is the “Las Hogueras de San Juan” (Festival of Saint Juan) which lasts an entire week at the end of June. During this week Alicante is transformed. The focal point is again a street procession, but this time the stars are huge wood and papier-mâché effigies sitting atop the floats and scattered around the city centre. A good deal of humour and satire has gone into the design of these figures, only to be consumed by flames as the finale to the grand palmera (fireworks display) where all floats and monuments are burnt to cinders. This is a fun festival with lots of eating, drinking and dancing. Makeshift party enclosures (barracas) of varying sizes are erected. The larger ones are open to the general public (smaller enclosures often have memberships) with live music and other entertainment gratis. Be prepared to stay up late!
With hardly any time to recuperate, the end of June/beginning of July is host to the Feast of San Pedro. This is a semi religious fiesta with Christian undertones but essentially celebrating the summer solstice. This involves yet more fireworks, eating, drinking and dancing.
The second half of September sees the annual theatre festival “Alicante e Esena”, closely followed by the Alicante International Contemporary Music Festival. This music festival started in 1985 promoting mainly Spanish music and musicians, but has since developed featuring music from all over Europe and the Americas. There are also several parallel events such as book and record fairs, photographic exhibitions and courses.
Around the end of November and beginning of December the International Puppet Festival comes to Alicante. Launched in 1984 this event, also known as the “Festitíteres” has acquired prestige due to its unique approach and international participation. With its programme aimed at both adult and family audiences, the many venues include both indoor and outdoor locales