After a three year hiatus thanks to the global pandemic, Rojales Fiestas are back with a bang. Quite literally! The chupinazo rocket launched on Sunday 12 June 2022 signalled the return to normality we have all been waiting for. The festivities began with a water fight and will end with the grand Moors and Christians parades. The town hall have even put together a magnificent booklet showing off life in Rojales over the years and, more importantly for English speakers, it contains a full breakdown of all this year’s events in English on pages 20 and 21. There’s lots more information in Spanish, of course, and it’s well worth giving your reading skills an extra nudge to uncover more about the history of the event. With over 50 events, this blog post would become cumbersome if I tried to feature them all so here are a selected few highlights.
Gran Chupinazo – 12 June
The fiesta began with a big party in the street as we awaited the launch of the rocket (chupinazo) and the accompanying fireworks. There was lots of music and free beer, but to access the free beer you had to get across the crowded square getting soaked in the process. It was one big water fight with municipal workers spraying the crowd from giant bowsers alongside the multitude with their water pistols refilled frequently in giant baths strategically located so that everyone could get to one easily. The polar opposite of a damp squib, this was a soaking success! At 2pm across the river the mesclata (daytime noisy firework display) took place and the noise reverberated for miles around!!
If you know Rojales at all, you’ll know that the market gets usurped during fiestas and has to take place in the streets. Why? The area where you would normally buy your fruit and veg on a Thursday is transformed into a collection of kábilas where the different groups of Moors and Christians have their parties. Throughout the fiesta various events take place. Some are private but others welcome in the public. There are even fairground rides nearby.
Correfoc – 21 June – 10pm
If you have never experienced a correfoc before then prepare to be amazed and throw any thoughts of “health and safety” out of the window! Demons race through the streets with fireworks blazing everywhere. Children (young and old!) dance underneath sparkler curtains late at night. It’s another big, noisy event which you will remember forever!! (Photos from Guardamar 2018 but it’s essentially the same.) In Rojales this is followed by the burning of the hoguera, a papier-mache effigy constructed near the Reina Sofia bridge a few days before.
Charanga – 25 June – 9pm
The charanga is the summer carnival parade. All the kábilas take part and you are sure to see some weird and wonderful costumes on show.
San Pedro Apostol – 29 June
San Pedro Apostol is the reason for all this madness. The celebration of St Peter begins at 9am with the band making its way through the streets accompanied by giants and big heads! They really are a sight for sore eyes. The solemn procession takes place at 9pm followed by a magnificent firework display.
Gunpowder Battle – 30 June – 9pm
More smoke and noise can be experienced on the malecón where the replica castle is stormed by marauding moors and christians. The smell of gunpowder fills the air as battle commences.
Moors and Christians Parades – 2 and 3 July
The Moors and Christians parades are perhaps the most memorable experience most visitors take away from these events. Getting a good vantage point can be tricky but for us, watching the kábilas cross over the Reina Sofia bridge tends to be the best there is.
If you go to any of the events, please leave a comment and maybe share a photo or two.