Benidorm Patron Saint Festivals
Although the majority of holidaymakers visit Benidorm during July and August, many like to visit in November to take part in the Benidorm Patron Saint Festivals. After just settling down from the peak season partying, the city comes alive again for 5 days of colourful fiestas in honour of the Virgen of Sufragio and Saint James. These fiestas may have a religious theme but in true Spanish style, they are celebrated with fun in mind and are a riot of colour, music and dance with young and old enjoying a splendid ‘knees up'. The fiestas start on the second Friday or Saturday of November and continue till the following Tuesday or Wednesday.
The origins of the festivities came about when in 1740 a mysterious boat was shipwrecked on Benidorm's coast and when discovered by the townsfolk was immediately burnt to prevent the spread of any disease. Once the flames had died down, whilst rummaging through the ashes for any hidden treasures, some local kids found the image of the Virgin and took it to the church priests who later built a chapel to house the image.
The Reenactment – Held on Poniente Beach at around sunset, locals dressed in the clothing of the period reenact the discovery and burning of the boat.
Flower Offering – A time of contemplation and prayer when the festivals participants lay flowers as an offering to the Virgin.
Parade of Humour – This is a lovely time for the children with fun for all, music, dance and a Children's theatre.
Parade of Floats – The city's residents spend months making their colourful and imaginative floats which are paraded through the streets accompanied by musical bands.
Fireworks Display – This is the final night of the festivities where revellers can enjoy further floats and magnificent firework displays.
The day after the Benidorm Patron Saint Festivals, those that wish to continue the fun and frolic's should head to ‘The Square' in the British quarter where from around midday British residents and holidaymakers stage a huge pub crawl and fancy dress party around the city.