Elche Medieval Festival
Elche Medieval Festival sees this beautiful city transformed into a giant stage dedicated to life during the Middle Ages. Festivals and fiestas are celebrated throughout the year in Spain. They are dedicated to everything from the humble olive to past wars or important religious events. Yes, the Spanish certainly don't need an excuse to party, and no matter what festival is being celebrated, song, dance, feasting and drinking is always assured. Even religious events and processions tend to have an air of festivity about them, with colourful costumes and floats.
Elche Medieval Festival Preparations
Elche Medieval Festival takes place each year at the end of October/beginning of November. It is a week long celebration that has been a highlight of the city since 1990. As with most of the Spanish festivals, a huge amount of time and effort goes into the Elche Medieval Festival. With up to 60 different events taking place over the duration of the week, you can imagine this is no small feat. Almost everyone gets involved with the preparations from local individuals to local groups and societies. The end result is a spectacular display of exciting week long festivities.
Elche Medieval Festival Events
Each year at the festival there is always something new. Therefore it's best to get a festival program from the event staff or Tourist Information Bureau. Indoor and outdoor stages are set up at various places around the city. These feature theatre, cinema, plays, poetic recitals, dance and music performances. For the young ones there is pantomime, puppet and magic shows. Throughout the week the streets really come alive and are a riot of colour and raucous cheer.
The rather chilly weather at this time of year can, in a way be looked at as a bonus. It means all the performers and spectators dressed in their Medieval outfits don't end up with heat stroke! Yes, even some of the spectators get involved and dress the part. This is especially exciting for younger festival goers. Young girls can dress as a peasant, princess or Maid Marian. There is the chance for boys to be bold knights or budding Robin Hood's. The street performances are magical. These include colourful floats, dancers, jesters, jugglers, stilt walkers and bards.
Elche Medieval Festival Market
A highlight of the Elche Medieval Festival is its fantastic street market. Here the Medieval theme continues. Many stall holders dress the part. Most adorn their stalls in the period with colourful awnings, flags and banners. Most stalls feature the usual modern products found at markets across the country. Some though, try to keep with the Medieval theme by offering props and products of the period. This is especially true at the cooked food stalls. Visitors to the market are greeted by the glorious smells of roasting meat. Alongside these are cauldrons of traditional soups and stews, roasting nuts and fresh baked bread. Throughout the market streets the events continue with spectacular falconry shows, bands and firework displays.