They are celebrated in Benimagrell around the patron saint’s festivity, San Roque. They are organized by the festival committee of Benimagrell in collaboration with the Sant Joan Town Hall. The party usually coincides with the weekend after San Roque, whose day is the 16th of August, and throughout the weekend the festive activities of great popular tradition take place.

At present the events begin on Thursday night with the announcement usually pronounced by someone linked to Benimagrell, Sant Joan d’Alacant or its Horta. Then the shooting takes place anouncing the festival and ‘correfocs’ on Benimagrell Street. Friday afternoon is dedicated to children with activities and games organized by the Sant Roc Festival Commission and at night the Parade of Costumes accompanied by the Band of the Musical Society La Paz, where neighbours and visitors disguised as varied themes, runs through Benimagrell. The party of foam is celebrated next. Saturday begins with the celebration of paellas, where festive and cultural associations of the municipality share an evening of coexistence and enjoy the typical dish. At night Benimagrell square is flooded with people to enjoy the “comic musical magazine” that year after year is programmed with a large influx of public. At the end, the ‘disco movil’ (mobile nightclub) and the party continues.

The celebration on Sunday begins with the ‘despertà anunciadora’ (awakening announcement) of the great day of the celebrations. The solemn mass in the hermitage, sung by Orfeón Sant Joan occupies the centre of the morning and later, the offering is celebrated, a colourful and festive act that crosses the main street of Benimagrell and ends in the historic hermitage. To end the morning events a popular lunch is served for the attendees. In the afternoon there is a procession with the images of the Carmen Virgin and San Roque, a religious parade in which cultural and festive entities of Sant Joan and numerous neighbours participate. After the procession, a castle of fireworks ends the celebrations.

Did you know…?

Isidro Buades Ripoll published a book about the announcements of the celebrations of Benimagrell, gathering all those pronounced between 1992 and 2002.

For many years the festival of bands of horns and drums of Benimagrell was celebrated coinciding with the celebrations, counting on the special participation of the traditional Band of Horns and Drums of Benimagrell, now disappeared.

 

San Roque was one of the most revered saints in the Catholic world during the 15th century who was born in Montpellier and dedicated his life to the pilgrimage. Since his death he was invoked against the plague, like San Sebastián, and also against the phylloxera, the terrible disease that affects to the vineyards. Therefore, he obtained great veneration in the Modern Age and in rural environments like the Horta d’Alacant. He is represented as a pilgrim, accompanied by a dog that accompanies him and licks his wounds..