Festivities in Hondón de las Nieves
All Saint's Day
On the 1st November, on All Saint’s Day, people visit the town cemetery to pay their respects to the deceased. There, the graves are adorned with flowers in memory of family members who have sadly departed.
The “Unión Musical de Hondón de las Nieves” is one of the most widely recognised and deeply rooted associations in our town and not without good reason. Musicians, students, associates and supporters count for around 500 local people who are directly involved with the group. The joy it brings and the dedication of its members make it loved by all “hondonenses” alike.
The “Unión Musical” was formed in around 1880 and through the course of its lifetime, it has performed in, and accompanied many events such as the “Fallas”, the “Hogueras”, the “Moros y Cristianos” festival and has also taken part in a number of musical exchanges and concerts. It has also taken part in the “Certamen de Música de Cine” (a competition in Cullera based on film scores) and in the “XIV Certamen Internacional Villa de Aranda (the 14th international music competition in the town of Aranda).
From 1993 up to the present time, the Unión Musical has taken part annually in the “Certamen Provincial Diputación de Alicante”. In 2011 it was awarded first prize and received honours and 3rd prize in the “Certamen Internacional de Bandas de Música ciudad de Valencia”. The Unión Musical was awarded a gold medal from the federation of music societies in recognition of its 125th anniversary.
At the present time, “The Unión Musical” runs a music school with more than 70 pupils as well as a school for adults. The “Unión Musical” takes part in the majority of events in our village accompanied by officials, locals and everyone who enjoys these events. In November, there is a festival dedicated to musicians as the 22nd of the month is the feast day of Santa Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Throughout the month of November, events are organised which showcase all different types of music in concerts, parades, neighbourhood days and a large number of activities designed to promote music as an integral part of our local culture. The present director of the Union Musical is D. Emilio José Alpera.
The La Canalosa "living" Nativity
In 1998 José Poveda Pérez, the children, and parents of the “Colegio d’Olm” came up with the idea of putting together, with very few resources, a theatrical re-enactment of the journey of the 3 Kings. All the people living in the hamlet take part by putting up wooden huts, each representing a different part of the nativity story and the journey of the 3 Wise men: the Castle of Herod, the Gate of Bethlehem, etc.
Once the re-enactment is over, there follows a food tasting event, showcasing all the local produce and dishes.
This saying suggests you can tell if winter is over if the almond blossom is out at Candlemas. If not, there may be more wintery weather ahead. “La Candelaria” or Candlemas is celebrated 40 days after Christmas and is thought to hail the end of winter and is usually celebrated with a candle-lit procession.
The candles are blessed, and if re-lit during stormy weather, it is believed that they protect from thunder.
In bakeries, special rolls called “rollos San Blas” are prepared and blessed as it is believed that eating them protects you from sore throats.
San Isidro is the patron saint of labourers and every year around the 15th May a pilgrimage or procession takes place in Hondón de las Nieves and the following week in the hamlet of La Canalosa. People wear fancy dress and eat typical local produce such as boiled broad beans, fritters, pastries etc and, accompanied by the “Unión Musical”, make their way to the cross on the hill, to collect the saint from his shrine in the “ermita” (hermitage) on the edge of the village.
A religious procession from Almistech to Solana
This pilgrimage or procession began in the 1990s in the Almistech neighbourhood of Hondón de las Nieves. There, where there is a small “ermita” or shrine, after Easter, the image of the Virgen de las Nieves, is accompanied by local residents and carried to neighbouring Solana.
The last Thursday or Fat Thursday
This is a local festival which is celebrated in the municipality on the last Thursday before Lent. The local people used to go out to the surrounding countryside to eat fried rabbit, tortilla, and “torrijas” (very similar to French toasts)… Fasting would begin the week after with no meat eaten until Easter. This is a tradition which appears in many popular songs.
Festival to celabrate our Lady, "La Virgen de las Nieves"
Every alternate year, in Hondón de las Nieves, we hold celebrations for our patron saint, La Virgen de las Nieves, with a large number of events and festivities organised by the “Concejalía de Fiestas” and the “Comisión de Fiestas”. These take place from the 1st to the 5th August and are open to the public to participate and enjoy. The culmination is the 5th August which is the actual saint’s day of la Virgen de las Nieves.
In 2015, these festivities were declared to be of great significance by the Regional Tourist Board due to the uniqueness of sharing the patron saint with our neighbouring town of Aspe.
Moors and Christians
The festival of “Moors and Christians” is held every year during the first 2 weeks of July when “Jornadas Culturales” (cultural days) take place. Only recently set up, these events take place at the weekend. The first day of the celebrations is marked by the “entraeta” (the grand entrance) followed by parades, food tasting, processions through the streets, mascletà (a series of firecrackers let off one after another which are very typical of festivals in this Valencia area), offering, etc., along with lots of other activities which allow visitors to the village to enjoy and take part in the festivities.
A mini, half way through the year, festival is also held the last weekend of January.