5th – THE CAVALCADE OF THE MAGI (CABALGATA DE LOS REYES MAGOS)
Every 5th January the Three Wise Men of the Orient: Melchor, Gaspar and Balthasar find a space in their busy calendar to come to Bocairent, ready to hand out toys, presents, and fulfil wishes amongst the children and adults.
17th – SAINT ANTHONY ABAD (of the Piglet or down below) (SAN ANTONIO ABAD (del Porquet o de Baix)
The festival is celebrated over the weekend in the chapel of Saint Anthoy Abad with a traditional bonfire. On the saint’s day a mass is held at the chapel with the blessing of animals and the sharing out amongst the participants of the “tàlla” cake of Saint Anthony. On the same day the locals go to the chapel to see how a ray of sunshine illuminates the face of the saint’s statue at exactly five o’clock in the afternoon; as the saying goes, “at five o’clock Saint Anthony in the sun”.
From 23rd to 31st – CANDLE NIGHTS
Coinciding with the celebration of the Novena of Saint Blai, every day a mass is offered by each one of the nine groups participating in the Mores and Christians festival. At the end of the mass the festival-goers approach the High Altar of the Parish Church candle in hand in order to sing the “Gozos” to the Patron Saint. Afterwards they have an aperitif and supper in their social clubs, followed by a procession through the town centre.
Bocairent’s Easter Week is a religious experience in itself, during which prayer, celebrations, and religious services form part of the preparation for the Resurrection festival: the road to crucifixion, services, the holy burial, and the Resurrection vigil. Once every three years the local inhabitants organise and perform the Passion play “Pas de L’Hort”, representing the passion and death of Christ.
During the night of Easter Saturday, or the Resurrection, and following the Vigil, the children of Bocairent have an unusual way of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ: leaving the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Ascension (Nuestra Señora de la Asunción) and continuing along the “New Barrier” they drag behind them “Rastres” (long chains of cans and tins that they themselves prepare for the occasion), creating lots of noise as they run around the town’s streets. Following the age-old custom on Easter Sunday, the Bocairentines take to the countryside to spend the day in the midst of nature, eating their traditional “Monas de Pascua” cakes, made from flour, olive oil and sugar, with a hard-boiled egg in the middle.
1st – SAINT JAMES (SANT JAUME)
On May Day, the Bocairentines join in a procession to the Chapel of Saint James. After an early start, known as the “diana”, and following a mass in honour of the Saint (the old patron saint of Bocairent), there is a blessing and the handing out of the “Petxima de San Jaume” (a shell-shaped bun). After the mass there is a communal brunch accompanied by a group of musicians. The day is rounded off with a small fair and “piñatas” for the little ones.
1st weekend – SANTA CREU NEIGHBOURHOOD FIESTA
These neighbourhood fiestas (in the newest area of Bocairent) consist of a weekend of religious services, attractions for the youngsters, dances and communal suppers.
9th – FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF THE FORSAKEN (LA MARE DE DÉU DELS DESEMPARATS)
This fiesta takes place in the neighbourhood bearing the same name, and is where the chapel is located. It centres round the figure of the Valencians’ patron saint, in whose name various religious services and popular events are held.
13th – SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA (SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA) (del Collao or up above)
The festival is celebrated over the weekend. The main focus of the fiesta is centred on Saint Anthony of Padua, in honour of whom the chapel and fiesta are named after. As well as the religious services (mass and procession) there is a marvellous fair, celebrated since the XVIII century, where you can find all kinds of hand made crafts; the most appreciated of which is the popularly known “Puret de Sant Antoni”, a kind of sweet typical at fairs.
24th – SAINT JOHN (SANT JOAN)
A popular fiesta celebrated over the weekend at and around the Chapel of Saint John (San Joan). It’s worth noting the antiquity of this fiesta, as it is held in the oldest neighbourhood in the town; Saint John’s (San Joan). Whilst having a marked religious character (the mass and procession are the central events in the fiesta’s calendar), there are also a wide range of popular events: the early wake up call, the street music, “piñatas” and races, along with a communal neighbourhood supper held outdoors
At the beginning of July, during the first weekend, there is a service held in honour of the Holy Christ of Bocairent (Santo Cristo), for having ended the cholera epidemic that struck the Valencia region in the XIX century, and which killed more than two hundred locals. A thanksgiving mass is held followed by a popular brunch, where the “vi del llibrell” wine is served.
15th – FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF AUGUST (LA MARE DE DÉU D’AGOST)
This is a popular fiesta held in the neighbourhood bearing the same name. It is celebrated in and around the Chapel of Our Lady of August, and coincides with the celebration of the Church of Our Lady of the Ascension (Nuestra Señora de la Asunción). Various religious celebrations are combined with popular events: street music, early wake up call, popular games….
THE WAKE UP (LA DESPERTÁ)
During the first weekend in September, on the Saturday morning at 4.30 a.m, the locals run around the streets of the town accompanied by the Divine Aurora and in the company of musicians and singing verses.
22nd – SAINT CECILLE (SANTA CECILIA)
A weekend celebration in honour of the patron saint of music with diverse events: street music, mass, concerts, exhibitions…
4th – SAINT BARBARA (SANTA BÁRBARA)
A popular fiesta celebrated in and around the Chapel of Saint Barbara (in the Sierra Mariola). The religious and popular celebrations along with the communal brunch make for a lovely day out in the country.
8th – THE BLESSED VIRGIN (LA PURÍSIMA)
A festival dedicated to the canonical patron of Bocairent, in honour of the Blessed Virgin of the Purist Conception (Purísima Inmaculada Concepción). Various popular events are held together with a procession, a holy mass and Novenario.
24th and 25th – CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY
Christmas Eve conserves in Bocairent one of the nicest traditions. People set up their nativity scenes at home and in religious buildings, and youngsters sing carols in the evening and at night as they go along the town’s streets collecting the popular “aguinaldo” Christmas tips. Christmas Day and Night are then celebrated in the company of the family.