The summer in Altea is like those summers we see on television, where people wear white clothes, straw hats and sandals to show off in front of the sea and dance in a festival. Altea is Mediterranean and that is what we offer you.
Altea neighborhood parties are small parties that organize neighborhood commissions (commissions that vary every year).
These types of parties usually last from Friday to Monday (previously they lasted until Tuesday). Within these days there are acts such as “entrà de la murta” (small cavalcade where candy, toys or trinkets are given to children.) It is the afternoon when the doors of the hermitages are decorated (with which all the parties) Colloquially it is called “murta” to the shrub that grows in the ravines of the area (usually in places of difficult access) It is a bush of green leaves and that smells very well In short they dedicate a parade to this shrub with which the small “temple” is decorated for the festival.
Before the entrà of the murta or sometimes coinciding in the same Friday of the neighborhoo picnic dinner. It is a dinner in which the neighbors of the neighborhood come together in “the square” to hve dinner together and share food and a good time. There is usually a DJ, or an small duo, brightening the night.
During some days throughout the festivities it is typical to offer attendees “coca a la llumà” (dough with sausage, green tomato, red and some salted fish), another of the days is usually offered giant paella for all attendees or also paellas contest (where groups of people prepare their own paella to eat and enter the contest). Depending on the decision that the commission makes that year they make giant paella or contest, or years that everything.
Being all of them in summer is very typical and likely to end up wet between lunchtime and around 6pm. People fill buckets and cool, throwing water at each other.
Evenings are usually dedicated to the little ones, with popular games, “boot-boot”, animation or theater. Also some afternoon it is dedicated to the elderly, with which regional dances, theater or snack are offered.
The nights are to dance and enjoy, orchestras from all over Spain come to the small neighborhoods of the Altea countryside to offer their shows. Young people really enjoy the night.
In the early morning at about 8 o’clock in the morning, the festival committee parades through the streets of the neighborhood throwing rockets to the music of traditional instruments, such as the “xirimita i el tabal”. This act is called “despertà” (action to awaken the staff)
There are also traditional Masses for the saints, every Sunday a saint is prayed (to whom the feast is dedicated) and on Mondays the deceased of the neighborhood in question
Acts to be highlighted:
Some of these parties celebrate “l’arbret“, these are the festivities of Sant Joan, Sant Roc and Sant Lluís. L’arbret is an ancestral tradition where men and women cut a tree (which was planted for it and, it must be said, they do replanting to be able to follow the tradition without deforesting) and they carry it on their backs in a very fun way based on water ( that are thrown over) and wine (which drink from the traditional botijos). To the sound of different sympathetic songs people throw water at them. Along this route stop for a snack (sausage and salted bread). His clothes (shirt) are broken along the way, as it is typical to break this garment to finally be hung in the codend of “l’arbret” these pieces of cloth. Once they reach “l’era” epicenter where all the parties are celebrated, men and women plant the tree by hand pulling 3 or 4 strings (depending on the space of the place). The joy is spread among all the audience and the “xirimita i el tabal” play to the sound of the show.
In the case of the Sant Llorenç festival, it hosts the Castell de l’Olla, a pyrotechnic show that is offered every summer at the beach of La Olla.
Other parties such as Sant Antoni (celebrated in June), is a festival dedicated to singles. The mayorales of this neighborhood can only belong to the commission if they are single. In these parties you can enjoy a small festival of alternative music in which young people enjoy a lot.
Altea la Vella celebrates the festivities of Santa Anna and Santa Bárbara (although Santa Bárbara in the month of December). At the Santa Anna parties, the paellas make a great “banyà”, the attendees wet themselves whole to soften the heat and spend a fun lunchtime.
Festivals such as Sant Isidre or Sant Tomàs are smaller parties, their neighborhoods are smaller and end up being very fun and family holidays.
In the case of the festivities of Sant Pere, which are celebrated in June, coinciding with the patron saint of the sailors, the Virgen del Carmen, a sea procession takes place. They take out the saints in fishing boats and in front of the town they throw into the water some crowns made of laurel (in recognition of the deceased sailors).
This summer you can still enjoy between the months of July, August and September of the parties of Santa Anna, Sant Jaume, Sant Roc, Sant Llorenç, Sant Isidre, Sant Lluís and the first weekend of September of Sant Tomàs.
If your holidays coincide with any of these months you can participate in any of the parties. You will be welcome to participate in the festivals and acts that are held for all audiences.
Altea and its neighborhood parties await you.