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Culture
 
  Plant Rocks Los Alcazares
Rock legend Robert Plant and his band Strange Sensation hit the resort of Los Alcazares like a high speed train to give the residents around the sports centre somewhat of a shock to the system.
   
  Nit de l'Albà
It’s that time of year, Nit de l’Albà is fast approaching once again.The spectacle in Elche on August 13th, is one of the most eagerly awaited celebrations for residents as hundreds of fireworks light up the sky in a barrage of colour and sound. The fiesta’s origins date back to the Middle Ages when families offered a rocket to the Virgin for each of their children. Today the tradition has metamorphosed into a coordinated, organised firework display where hundreds of fireworks are fired from different points of the city. As well as the organised display, the townspeople also join in spontaneously with their own fireworks. The colourful storm of rockets and fireworks begins at 23.00 hrs and continues unabated until a few minutes before midnight. Suddenly all the fireworks cease and the city lights are turned off. The people of Elche remain silent while they listen to ‘el Gloria’ the most significant fragment of the Mystery Play. For a few seconds, the darkness blanketing the city is brilliantly lit up by an enormous white starburst, ‘la palmera de la Virgen,’ which is released from the Basilica de Santa María. Once the magic moment has passed, the city lights are restored and on the Basilica’s tower an image of the Virgin in fireworks bursts into life accompanied by the famous habanera ‘Aromas ilicitanos’ with all of the locals joining in the song from their balconies and roofs. The traditional final act to the fiesta is for the people to eat a watermelon. Some people prolong the fiesta, firing rockets well into the small hours while the more daring take part in the traditional guerra de carretillas, where people chase each other pushing carts designed to look like dragons, spitting fireworks from their mouths. This takes place in the specially designated areas in the city centre that can appear to be scenes from hell – an event recommended for only the most hardened fire lovers.The Nit de l’Albà, or ‘the night of the daybreak’ is a prelude to the city’s ‘Mystery Play,’ a lyrical drama dating from the Middle Ages, which, in 2001, was declared a Masterpiece of World Oral and Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.The play is performed in the Basilica of Santa María every 14th and 15th August and full details will be available in next week’s ‘Leader’ but for a sneak preview check out the full dress-rehearsal performances taking place on the 11th,12th and 13th August. Tickets for both the dress rehearsals and official performances can be acquired from the Casa de la Festa (c/ Major de la Vila, nº 27, tel. 965 45 61 12), by calling Servicam on 902 44 43 00, or at the www.cam.es.
   
  International Festival of Bands
This year’s ‘City of Torrevieja – International Festival of Bands’now in it’s fourth annual edition, promises to be even more ‘international’ with the participation of prestigious musical groups from such diverse places as Holland, Slovenia and the United Kingdom, with of course, Spain, being ably represented by the hosts, the ‘Los Salerosos Musical Society’ one of Torrevieja’s principal town bands.
   
  ABBAcadabra
‘Dancing Queens’ young and old took to the open air stage at the Asturias restaurant last Wednesday evening for a spectacular Abba tribute night performed by the UK’s top act Viva ABBA, formally ABBAcadabra.
   
  Dancing Horses Return To La Marina
During the Virgin de la Paz fiestas to be held in urbanisation La Marina a temporary bullring will be erected that will seat 2500 people for the dancing horses show that will feature 18 horses, and no bull!
   
 
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