Fiestas in Oliva. Oliva Fiestas.
Oliva has one of the provinces biggest and most colourful Moor and Christian Festivals in the province. Oliva celebrates its festival of Moors and Christians during July.
One of the most distinguished acts of the festive week is the ‘Day of the Entry’ which is celebrated on the Friday. The captains, ambassadors and standard-bearers, along with other festive protagonists, parade in sensational costumes, and provide an exceptional spectacle of colour and music. Later the disembarkation is represented with the landing of the Moorish Emissary whilst the Christians wait on the coast where the
battle is interpreted with fireworks. On Saturday evening a curious spectacle takes place, a living chess game is disputed between the two armies. The last of the representations is the "Reconquest of the Castle" on behalf of the Christians who fight to re-conquer the castle. The struggles finish on Sunday with the ‘Day of the Brotherhood’ and a great parade.
Fiestas of the Cristo de San Roque The fiestas of the Cristo de San Roque have been celebrated in Oliva since the 17th century. In these fiestas, celebrated on May 3, we can enjoy a great number of acts representative of our most ancient traditions. At the “pregón”, with all
the revellers dressed in traditional style, the start of the fiesta is announced to the whole town. A Novena is celebrated in the chapel of the Cristo, considered a jewel of the baroque because of the symbolism and beauty of the paintings covering its central vault. In the streets there
are fiestas for everyone: theatre and children’s events, thrilling games of the Valencian ballgame “pelota”, colourful fancy-dress parades and, of course, the lively parties that fill our streets with revelry and fun. The fiesta ends with a solemn procession in honour of the Santísimo Cristo.
Moors and Christians Fiesta in Oliva – Third Week of July
For their spectacle and elegance, the Moors and Christians fiestas of Oliva have carved a niche in the circuit of great processions of this deeply Valencian festival.
This high level of processions and quality of the fiesta has been reached by strengthening other aspects of the event to make it more participatory and more solemn at the same time: the day of the disembarkation, the “Saturday at daybreak” (which people attend without having slept after the street parties) the fiesta proclamations, embassies and visits to the clubhouses… So it is that these fiestas recalling the Christian re-conquest of the territory occupied by Arabs for more than 500 years, are enjoying a period of splendour that improves in quality, participation and above all in spectacle year after year in Oliva.
The town joins together to commemorate the struggle between the followers of the Cross and those of the Half Moon. The Moors and Christians march in their fantastic costumes, each with their own style of music from their band which follows them around the town and there is a great spectacle of battles, dances,
carnival floats and mounted troops who perform spectacular displays in the streets of the town. After a whole night of fun, many go to the beach for the early morning disembarkation where the Moorish Ambassador lands to be greeted by the Christian Ambassador. A great battle ensues to the sound of blunderbusses and fireworks. The Moors win the fight but it is a short-lived victory.
On Saturday evening a fantastic procession, lasting for several hours, parades through the town showing the Moors, Christians and the Pirates in all their glory. They are accompanied by bands, floats, fire breathing dragons, street performers who re-enact battle scenes and displays of fantastic horsemanship. The castle erected in the Paseo is re-conquered and the Christian king takes up residence after a furious battle. A fantastic firework display marks the end of the festivities.
San Roque Fiesta in Oliva
The fiestas of the Cristo de San Roque have been celebrated in Oliva since the 17th century. It is a fiesta based on the time when the Moors were forced to convert to Christianity. In these fiestas, celebrated between 1 and 3 May, you can enjoy a great number of acts representative of our most ancient traditions. At the “pregón”, with all the revellers dressed in traditional style, the start of the fiesta is announced to the whole town.
A Novena is celebrated in the chapel of the Cristo, considered a jewel of the baroque because of the symbolism and beauty of the paintings covering its central vault. In the streets there are fiestas for everyone: theatre and children’s events, thrilling games of the Valencian ballgame “pelota”, colourful fancy-dress parades and, of course, the lively parties that fill our streets with revelry and fun. The fiesta ends with a solemn procession in honour of the Santísimo Cristo.
Porrats / Medevil Market Fiesta in Oliva
In the Valencian language, “porrats” are fairs selling a great variety of products (sweets, salted fish and meat, honey). They are of medieval origin and the first is the “porrat” of Sant Antoni celebrated in January, in which there is the ritual blessing of animals formerly work animals but now household pets.
On January 17 Oliva celebrates the "Porrat" of San Antonio in the Plaza de San Roque. It is a medieval market with stalls selling beautiful handmade arts and crafts as well as lots of food stalls. Traditional caldera or stew made from local vegetables is passed around throughout the festivities.
Stalls are set up in the streets of the old town and we can savour traditional dishes such as the “pa benet” (“blessed bread”) or the stew prepared with locally-grown vegetables.
They also take advantage of this fiesta to celebrate a medieval market with live shows in the streets and different fun activities. In February they celebrate the “porrat” of San Blas, set up in the Plaza de Enguix with children’s games.
El "Mercado Medieval de Oliva" celebrará el día de San Antonio con más de 60 puestos de artesanía en el barrio del Raval de Oliva del 15.- 17.de Enero. Al visitante le esperarán actuaciones de un grupo de Praga (Chequía) con luchas de caballeros en plena armadura y danzas históricas. No faltará la alimentación típica y un amplio programa de animación en la C./San Vicente, Plaza de Ganguis y alrededor en el barrio Raval de Oliva.
Fallas Fiesta in Oliva
If the carnival marks the start of Lent, in the middle of this period of reflection the Fallas fiesta maintains its attraction celebrating Lent in a pagan way: with a great bonfire burning the old to make way for the new. The parodies of the papier-mâché monuments paint a portrait of everyday life in a way that is both easy-going and spectacular. In Oliva there is evidence that these fiestas were already celebrated in the 60s but they have been consolidated
as we now know them since 1982. Now the five Fallas commissions prepare a great fiesta that lasts a week and in which there is every type of ritual (the naming of the fiesta queens, erection of the monuments, early-morning awakenings, flower offerings, lunches in the clubhouses, prize-giving, firecracker displays, the burning…). It is a great spectacle to which everyone is invited.
Las Fallas is undoubtedly one of the most unique festivals in Spain and what began as a feast of fireworks, music and flowers. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of Fallas–huge cardboard, wood and plaster statues of which there are five in Oliva. The city of Valencia has over 400 such statues
and is well worth a visit at this time for the sheer scale and beauty of the creations. The Fallas depict bawdy, satirical scenes and current events and may have figures representing politicians or TV personalities. They are crafted by neighbourhood organizations and take about six months to construct often costing upwards of 70,000 Euros.
The Fallas remain in place until March 19th, the day known as "La Crema." In Oliva the five statues are judged for their artistic flair and ingenuity and the one judged least best is burned at midnight. A huge firework display denotes the start of the proceedings and fireworks are strung across the streets and join the statues which very quickly become a raging inferno. The huge crowd which
gathers are pushed back due to the intense heat. The fire service are kept very busy hosing down the nearby buildings which are so close to the flames. The crowd all move on to the next statue to be burned and so on to the winner which is burnt at around 3.30 in the morning to an even bigger and better firework display.
There are lots of other events during Fallas week one of the most spectacular being the Mascleta which is held at 2pm every day in Oliva´s Paseo. This is a firework display all about making as much noise as possible so be warned and do not stand too close or you will be deaf for days !!
There are processions every day as the members of the Fallas groups build up to the night of the Crema. The Fallas groups all have their carnival queens and you can see them in their beautiful traditional costumes walking around the town to the sound of their own accompanying bands.
On the night of the 17th there is a lovely procession of flowers which are placed by the Fallas queens on a platform in the centre of the Paseo at the feet of a image of the Virgin Mary. In Valencia this Offering of Flowers goes on over 2 days when over 40,000 bunches of flowers are used to decorate a 14 metre high figure of the Virgin.
In Valencia the Crema is of course bigger and better with all the Ninots being burned at midnight apart from the 5 huge special statues which are burned at 1am. The statue in the town hall square in Valencia is always the last to go at 1.30 am Each year one of the Ninots (small figures which surround the main Fallas) is spared from destruction by popular vote and is exhibited in the Fallas Museum.
Holy Week Semana Santa Fiesta in Oliva
Oliva’s Holy Week has a special attraction: the beauty of its processions.
From Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday, Oliva’s old town with its unmistakable Moorish air fills with worshippers following the solemn passage of the brotherhoods under the tenuous light of candles and the moon.
The climb to the Calvary at daybreak on Good Friday allows us to watch the sunrise from the vantage-point of Oliva Castle at the same time as a rosary of brotherhoods winds between each Station of the Cross.
Oliva also has a biblical performance of great tourism interest that has been preserved over the centuries. On the evening of Good Friday in the parish church of Santa María they perform the “Desenclavament” or “Desenclavamiento”, a drama presented by the brotherhoods and in which they enact the torture, death and taking down of Jesus of Nazareth.
Schedule of Events for Semana santa
As with most timings in Spain, the times are approximate!
19:30h: At Rebollet Convent, high mass for Nazareno brotherhood.
22:30h: The procession "Despedida del Silencio" starts from both churches, Santa Maria and San Francisco.
23:00h: Holy Hour at all three parishes.
06:30h: Departure from Santa María church and from Rebollet convent church to the Via Crucis and Mountain Sermon.
08:00h: At Santa María church holy hour.
17:00h: At San Roque and San Francisco churches, liturgical celebration of Christ's death.
17:30h: At Santa María parish church, liturgical celebration of the Christ’s death.
18:30h: At Santa María parish the ceremony of Christs releasing from the cross which is a poem with music written by José Climent and Salvador Soler Soler.
20:00h: Procession depicting Christ’s Burial starting from Santa María Church through the streets of the old town.
23:00h: At the three parishes, Easter Vigil.
24:00h: At the three parishes, Glory Mass.
08:30h: At the three churches, high mass with the assistance of the brotherhoods, patronesses, maids of honour and public in general. At the end of the religious service, from each parish, a parade starts with the priest and brotherhoods to the Paseo in the centre of Oliva town.
Fiestas of Virgen del Rebollet
The festivities in honour of the Virgen del Rebollet,
Patron Saint of the city, begin with a peregrination, in which hundreds of
pilgrims take part, accompanied with a cane from which they hang a pumpkin. The
procession moves the image of the Virgin, a Romanesque sculpture from the XII
century, considered to be the most ancient Marian representation of the
Valencian Community, from the Plaza de Santa María up to the Castle. There is a
Mass ceremony celebrated in honour of the Patron Saint. Later, at lunchtime, the
romeros distribute wine and fruits amongst the attendees.