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Feria de Julio [July]
The july Fair

What it is about

The Feria de Julio is not actually a traditional fiesta. It is a whole of July packed with various cultural and entertainment events, designed to keep the population of Valencia in the city longer before they run off into the hills to escape the heat. Feria de Julio in Valencia is, essentially, a month of various concerts, theatre, open air cinema, sports events and bullfighting.

You can read more about the July Programme in Valencia.

However, there are a few traditional spectacles that are associated with Feria de Julio in Valencia. They are listed below.

Batalla de las Flores (Battle of the Flowers). 2007: July 22

There are several things Valencia is passionate about so much that they become an art form here. Spanish music, fireworks, ceramics, rice dishes... Flowers are definitely one of those. Locals sometimes call Valencia the city of music, light and flowers. Valencians decorate their city with flowers on every possible occasion, and they do amazing things with them. Flowers are offered to every patron saint on his day. But the Battle of the Flowers (Batalla de Las Flores) is the ultimate display of what the Valencians can do.

La Batalla de las Flores (Battle of the Flowers) is a celebration of summer and the final act of the Feria de Julio in Valencia. It starts with a long parade of enormous and gorgeous floats pulled by horses and filled with Valencians dressed to the theme of the float. The primary condition for all of the floats is that they involve artwork with flowers, and it is truly amazing - some look like they are totally made of flowers, and others actually are. Forget ikebana...

Once the floats have made a couple of cirlcles around the route and have been awarded prizes by the commission, the battle breaks out. The floats are filled with flower heads, and the spectators have been supplied too. The public and the float crews fight against each other to the last flower. It is a two-way orange shower. There are huge piles of flower-heads stocked for the battle and the fiesta staff bring the buckets to those who run out of ammunition. Even the mayor is called into battle.

After about 20 minutes the fire ceases and the heavy artillery finishes it off - the mascleta (fireworks).

Paseo Alameda, 8pm
Paginas Amarillas
Length:1.5 hours
Photos

Feria de Julio (July Fair) - culture events in Valencia, Spain


The Night Landing of the Moors (Desembarco Nocturno de los Moros)

The Spanish love the theme of the Moors and Christians. The Night Landing is a staged battle for Valencia on the Arenas beach (right next to the port). It narrates the story of how Valencia was taken from the Moors in XIV and how the Moors (unsuccessfully) tried to take it back.

It's no Braveheart or Lord of the Rings, but it's still not a bad show. A hundred or so combatants, dressed as Moors or Christians, swords and pikes, armour and flags, full epoch dress, shiny helmets, curved saracene blades, boats, horsemen and even a chariot. Under the cover of night the Moors will fire their proto-guns and take the walls of Valencia. Then the valiant Christians will ninja-climb the walls and slit their throats, re-taking the city. Then once again, the Moors will disemark at night and try to re-take Valencia. There will be cavalry charges and infantry clashes. The only drawback is that some of the dialogues of the adversaries are too archaic and drag for centuries while the crowd just wants some action.

Playa Arenas, 10pm
(Arenas beach)
Multimap Map
Length:1.5 hours

Feria de Julio (July Fair) - culture events in Valencia, Spain


Parade of Moors and Christians

The next day after the Night Landing, the Moors and Christians will parade through the main street of the maritime district in a spectacular mixture of epoch dress and pure entertainment.

Calle de la Reina, 9.30pm
Multimap Map
Length:30 min

Feria de Julio (July Fair) - culture events in Valencia, Spain


Preselection of the Court of Honour

If you want to see something very traditinally Valencian, the parks of Valencia will also hold Preselection of the Court of Honour throughout July. This is a preliminary stage for the selection of Fallera Mayor (the Queen of the Fallas). The election itself will take place in Valencia from January to March, in time for the Fallas. This is the most prestigious title for any Valencian woman (those who still live in tradition, that is). Those who did not make it to Fallera Mayor become her Court of Honour.

Those will be pompous, ritualised events with traditional Valencian costumes and music.

Various Places

Feria de Julio (July Fair) - culture events in Valencia, Spain

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