Mark your calendars — on October 9th, the next major festival hits Valencia, the Day of the Valencian Community (Día de la Comunidad Valenciana).
Of course, we’ll be blogging more pictures and information as it happens, but here is a quick rundown of what you can expect:
International Festival of Fireworks
Preceding the official events of the 9th, the city invites pyrotechnic artists from all over the world to put on a massive fireworks display in the riverbed of the Turia on the evening of October 8th.
On October 9th, 1238, King James I of Aragon entered Valencia and liberated it from 500 years of Moorish rule. He created an autonomous country, the Kingdom of Valencia, and has become the city’s most cherished historical figure. The Day of the Valencian Community, October 9th, is one of the region’s most important holidays.
The 9th is the day of official festivities, beginning with the lowering of La Senyera from the Ayuntamiento. La Senyera is the official flag of the Valencian Community, and is lowered from its usual place on the city hall to street level, instead of being brought through the doors, because — according to royal proclamation — the flag may bow to no one.
After the flag is lowered, the official procession begins, first up to the Cathedral and then down Calle La Paz before eventually arriving at Parterre park. There, an offering of flowers is made to the large statue of King James, and the flag is brought back to the Ayuntamiento, where there is a…
Don’t act as though you’re surprised.
The rest of the day is filled with traditional music and dancing in the Plaza de la Virgen, as well as a procession of Moors & Christians throughout the old city.
October 9th also happens to be the day of St. Dionisios, who Valencians revere as the saint of love. So, young Valencians in love traditionally present the object of their affection with a Mocaorà, which is a handkerchief filled with sweets.
There might well be other events worth seeing as part of the celebrations. This is our first time, so if there is something else worth watching out for, any information we’ve gotten incorrect, or an interesting piece of trivia we’ve neglected, please leave a comment!