Each autonomous community in Spain has its own ‘bank’ holiday to celebrate local customs, and October 9th is the ‘Dia de Comunidad de Valenciana’, when all towns and hamlets in the provinces of Alicante, Valencia and Castellón will take a public holiday and schools, shops and other workplaces will be closed for the day
Coming just 3 days before the ‘Dia de Hispanidad’ on the 12th of October, which is a national public holiday to celebrate being Spanish, this can lead to a nice long weekend holiday
The history of Valencia Day dates back to 1283 when King James I of Aragón reclaimed the area from the Moors during the ‘reconquista’ period and so October 9th has become recognised as a day to celebrate the customs, food and traditions of the Valencian region
The celebrations are particularly fervent in the city of Valencia, with the waving of the royal flag during processions throughout the city, and many musical and cultural events are organised, as well as the traditional firework and mascletá displays with lots of smoke and noise.
October 9th also happens to be the ‘Catholic Feast of San Diosinio’, the patron saint of lovers day, equivalent to our St Valentines day, so you may also find some amorously themed activities going on.
It is tradition for the young men to give a gift of a silk scarf containing an assortment of sweet marzipan treats to their sweetheart on this day
More than 70,000 kilos of marzipan is used to make around 200,000 of these treats, known as Mocaorás or Mocadoras, often in the shape of fruits and there are many wonderful and tempting displays in the shop windows