October 9th is the Day of the Valencian Community, kind of like 4th of July in the States. Though, I suppose it’s different, because it’s a celebration for a specific Spanish state and not the country as a whole. We don’t have any equivalent holiday for just Ohio (where I’m from). But then again, Ohio doesn’t have its own language, a millennium of heritage, or really much worth celebrating at all. Besides buckeye cookies.
King James the First of Aragon reclaimed Valencia for Christianity on October 9th, 1238, which is the day remembered as the birth of the Kingdom of Valencia. Here’s a rundown of the commemorative events which will be taking place on the 9th, this year.
October 8th @ Midnight – International Festival of Pyrotechnics
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. (Alamada metro station)
Noon – Lowering of the Senyera
The Senyera is Valencia’s flag, and at noon it will be lowered down from the Ayuntamiento’s balcony. This was pretty eventful last year, with Catalan nationalists intruding on the celebration.
12:20 – Civic Procession
After the Senyera is lowered, it will be paraded around the Ciutat Vella by functionaries like the mayor and various Valencian groups. There will be a special stop for a flower offering, at the statue of King James in the Parterre park. This procession will end at Plaza Ayuntamiento where the Senyera will be handed over again to the city. Followed by a Mascletà.
17:00 – Public Dance
Don’t miss folk music and traditional dancing in the Plaza de la Virgen.
17:30 – Entrance of Christians & Moors
Starting at the Glorieta Park, a procession of Christians and Moors takes the city’s streets. This should be colorful and probably more entertaining than the 12:30 civic parade. The parade’s conclusion, there will be a mascletà in the Pl. del Ayuntamiento.
It’s going to be a full day. Don’t forget that shops will be shut and restaurants more expensive. This is one of the biggest holidays on the Valencian calendar!