When King Felipe III of Spain granted Jávea town rights on 2 July 1612 he probably didn’t imagine that it would still give cause for a full season of celebrations in the 21st century. If so, he would have underestimated the pride local people continue have in their town and its origins and traditions. What’s more, given the Spanish penchant for celebrations and festivities an event such as a 400th anniversary is something that fires the imagination.

And thus the Jávea Town Council agreed upon a full list of commemorative events and celebrations during 2012, to “…commemorate this anniversary with the citizens, to strengthen the pride of belonging and promote our history, which is the key to our cultural heritage and guarantees our identity.” As a result, the Department of Culture has been charged with creating a programme of events to mark 2012 as a milestone in the town’s history.

In addition to celebrating the 400th anniversary of the incorporation of Jávea as a town, the people of the region will also be commemorating darker times 200 years ago, when the country was in the grip of the Peninsular War and the town was sacked by French troops. Things came to a head on 28 August 1812, when Napoleonic forces attacked the town and drove British troops out of the Castillo de la Fontana.

This official commemoration of war notwithstanding, the emphasis of the celebrations will be joyous, allowing local residents to feel pride in their origins and inviting visitors and foreign residents to join them in what is going to a year full of fun activities and events. The Town Council is expected to publish the full agenda of celebrations early in the year.

Photo: www.xabia.org