The town of Bétera, which lies to the east of the Campo del Turia region in the province of Valencia, will celebrate on 15 August the festival of ‘la Asunción de la Virgen’, the assumption of Mary. This festival has many names, known in Valencian as ‘Festa de la Mare de Déu d’Agost’, or ‘Festa de les Alfàbegues’ (Basil festival) or simply, ‘Festes d’Agost’ (August festival). These festivities date back to the 15th century and go on for 11 days, which are filled with traditional ceremonies and events.
‘La Ofrena de les Alfàbegues’, the offering of Basil, is declared as a ‘Fiesta de Interés’ for the Valencian community and takes place on the morning of 15 August; a lively, musical procession pays tribute to the “sleeping virgin”, as fabulous scented Basil plants are carried to the Purísima Concepción church, where the festival’s namesake monument is located in Bétera.
These spectacular basil plants, or ‘Albahacas’ are enormous (up to two metres high with about a metre and a half diametre on the top) and are grown with tender loving care and attention ensuring they reach their incredible size for this special day, when they are put on display as an offering to the well-loved ‘Mare de Déu d’Agost’ on 15 August.
The basil plants are carefully secured with reeds wrapped with tape and crowned with colourful paper flowers, and are carried through the streets of the town by the ‘obreras’, or workers of the Virgin; four women, two married and two single, and a group of men, known as ‘els Majorals’, who are responsible for organising the festival each year. This wonderful procession is embellished with the rhythm of the ‘dulzaina’, a medieval oboe-like instrument, the ‘tabalet’ drum, and a persistent shower of confetti.
The day ends with a noisy ‘cordà plana’ which takes place at night, a traditional form of firework display, first invented in Bétera in 1814. A length of rope is hung and lit on a particular street, where various types of rockets are strung; all following appropriate safety precautions.
A fairground is also set up as part of the festivities in Bétera, in the historical area of Caraixet, for children and the young at heart.
Visit the full programme of events for the festivities in Bétera 2013.
Maybe you want to enjoy some time to relax, between the music and excitement of the festivities; why not take a walk in the Sierra de la Calderona to enjoy the beautiful Valencian countryside, or as a golf aficionado, you couldn’t be in a better place: right next to the luxury Escorpión Golf Club on Ctra. San Antonio de Benagéber in Bétera.
If you would like more information, please visit the offical website for the festivities in Bétera.
How to get there:
Bétera can be accessed either by:
• The CV-35, then take the CV-336.
• Or take the A-7, and then connect to the CV-310.
Or by public transport:
• Edetania Bus S.A. Number 230: Valencia-Bétera-Náquera-Serra. Telephone: 96 135 20 30
• Metro (FGV) Line 1. Telephone: 900 46 10 46
Rimontgó offers a great selection of houses for sale in Bétera in the prestigious areas of Torre en Conill and Mas Camarena.