The Benidorm Fiestas are now in full swing – with much partying all around the streets of the Old Town.
Yesterday (Saturday) at 12 noon an incredibly loud firework display was let off from the Mirador to officially mark the beginning of the fiesta. Crowds of people turned out to watch - both locals and holiday makers. It seems very bizarre to spend so much money on letting them off in the middle of the day when at most all that could be seen was billowing smoke – but they could certainly be heard for miles around I should think!
Religion plays a major part as the fiestas are a celebration of the Patron Saint, La Virgin del Sufragio – this year being its 275th anniversary. Last night was very poignant and probably the most important event of the entire fiesta week. It seemed like the entire population turned out for the flower offering in a solemn procession that started at Dove Park with numerous bands to accompany the Fiesta Queens and penyas.
Literally everyone carried flowers – from young children to the local police chiefs, to decorate the front of the blue domed San Jaime church at the top of the Old Town. The procession started a little after 6pm with an effigy of the Patron Saint carried first following a reenactment on the Ponient Beach of it being discovered upon a burning boat.
It was incredible to watch the flowers being placed – by what looked like rock climbers suspended from the giant grid that was to hold the flowers, but they did have safety harnesses on. Each bouquet of flowers was handed up – cellophane stripped and placed around the doors of the church.
It took hours to complete and must have contained literally thousands of euros worth of flowers – the number 275, to mark the anniversary was prominant in plain white flowers.
I should think that there must be some very happy florists here in Benidorm - pop up to the church and have a look if you are here.