As Valencia recovers from the festivities of last weeks’ Noche de San Juan, which saw high-spirited revellers flock to bask in the smokey ruckus of the city’s bonfire-filled beaches, this blog will take a look at the region’s fiesta calendar for the coming summer months — a line-up which is sure to pull in crowds from all four corners of the globe.
First up, the little known fiesta La Cordà will take place on Monday 29th August, in the town of Paterna, just 5 km northwest of Valencia city. The centuries old event holds the annual world record for the most rockets fired over the shortest space of time, and although somewhat smaller than its sister Las Fallas, this local fiesta is just as pyromaniac-friendly! For 25 minutes the village blazes red with over 70,000 rockets and firecrackers launched along the main streets by 200 trained flame throwers. Not one for the faint-hearted, during La Cordà, temperatures can sky-rocket from 50ºC to 200ºC! Safety still remains of the utmost importance and the fiery ferment can be enjoyed at arm’s-length from several retardant vantage points throughout the town.
Equally as maniacal, La Tomatina is expected to attract over 40,000 visitors this year. The frenzied food-fight fiesta will soon see the otherwise sleepy town of Buñol (38 km west of Valencia) transformed into an epic tomato battlefield on Wednesday 31st August. Famous the world over, the festival is the biggest food-fight on the planet, fuelled by truck loads of rotten tomato grenades ready to be pelted through the town’s quaint cobbled streets. For an hour revellers will run amok through the bolognesed streets, firing the squished fruit every which way and leaving no survivors! Goggles and swimwear are essential attire for this sticky, but nutritious free-for-all.
Finally, to round off this summer’s merry-making the town of Algemesí (30 km south of Valencia) is to host the perhaps more sedate, Fiesta de la Virgen de la Salud, during the final week of August and culminating on 8th September. For two whole weeks the festival will offer residents and visitors alike a plethora of activities steeped in tradition, from church masses and religious processions to dancing and local food and wine tasting. Not to be missed however, are the final weekend’s celebrations when the town’s muixeranga, or acrobats take centre stage, creating breath-taking human pyramid structures which soar above the astonished crowds below.
So whether you are up for a chaotic flammable fest, a hectic tomato tussle or a more mellow affair in Algemesí, the Valencian region’s summer fiestas are sure to entertain and are well worth the trip.