You can read through the town guides to find specific fiestas but below are some of the more well-known ones of the region.
- Los Reyes – the Three Wise Men – on 6th January the Spanish children receive their Christmas gifts. Most towns and villages will do something special in social clubs and town squares. Murcia and Cartagena have extra special fiestas. Look out for the televised celebrations of Madrid with massive floats, and the three kings parading through the city.
- Carnaval de Águilas – Águilas
- Fiestas de San Sebastián – Ricote
- Carnaval – Cabezo de Torres
- Carnaval – Cartagena
- Carnaval – Mar Menor – San Pedro del Pinatar, San Javier and Los Alcázares alternately
- San Blas de San Javier Romeria – San Javier
Semana Santa – Easter Week – being a mainly Catholic country, Easter is a huge celebration. All towns and villages will hold celebrations, with at least 3 or 4 working days lost. Some of the best festivities can be found in Cartagena, Jumilla, Murcia and Moratalla.
- Fiesta de la Primavera (Spring festival) in Murcia includes: Bando de la Huerta (Orchard procession) and Entierra de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine)
- Santisima y Vera Cruz – Caravaca
- Jazz Festival – San Javier
- Feria Sevillana – Mar Menor
- San Juan – all towns and villages
- Jazz Festival – San Javier
- Virgen Del Carmen – Cartagena
- Santiago Apostle – Cartagena
- San Gines de la Jara Procession – San Gines
- Festival of International Theatre, Music and Dance – San Javier
- Mar Menor Folk Festival – San Pedro del Pinatar and Lo Pagán
- Fiesta de la Vendimia in Jumilla with a wine fountain to celebrate the wine harvest.
- Murcia September Fair: Moors & Christians – Murcia
- “Tunas” Folk Music Festival – Murcia
- Mediterranean Folklore Festival – Murcia
- Romans & Carthaginians – Cartagena
- Regional Horse Fair – Caravaca
- Romería de San Clemente – Lorca
- Fiestas Mayores – San Javier
- Tours of the Natives (Belenes) – Yecla
How to Fiesta
Fiestas are serious business in Murcia. It’s important that you know when your local fiesta ( fiesta patronal) is – check in your local teleclub or bar. Preparations start weeks in advance (depending upon the scale of the celebrations intended) with roles assigned for many of the villagers.
Usually the festivities are spread over a week or even more, with a program of activities planned. In many bars you’ll find a guide to these activities along with lots of adverts from local traders.
For larger fiestas, the lights will go up in the streets a few weeks ahead, and often a marquee will be erected in the town square. Sometimes there will be competitions – football, sport, fruit and vegetable growing and, of course, the paella cooking.
Never expect evening festivities to begin much before 10pm or finish much earlier than 6am.
This is an extract from A Brit's Scrapbook: Going Native In Murcia by Debbie Jenkins and Marcus Jenkins. It is a comprehensive guide to investing, holidaying and living in Murcia and the Costa Cálida.