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Culture
 
  San Javier Under a Groove
The 10th San Javier Jazz Festival got underway in full swing on Friday night with a couple of electrifying performances.
   
  Third Medieval Market in La Nucía
On 6, 7 and 8 July the beautifully restored old town centre of La Nucía will be the scene of the third Medieval Market held in this village to celebrate its ‘birthday.’ Apart from an interesting programme, including a whole group of belly dancers, medieval minstrels, stilt walkers, children’s theatre and juggling with fire, there are some very interesting demonstrations of old crafts.   Two instrument makers will set up a complete medieval workshop to show you how medieval musical instruments were made, the glass blowers will astonish you as he makes a beautiful glass or vase within a few minutes, the armourer makes helmets and swords and there will be demonstrations of distillery. Two archers offer you a chance to aim at an apple (no no, not William Tell, he wasn’t there yet in medieval times!) and the falconer shows off her birds of prey or walks around with her snakes or ferrets. There will be almost seventy stalls, offering a wide range of good quality hand made goods, including some traditional food stalls. Try the authentic cider (scrumpy) from Asturias or have a go at a portion of ‘pulpo’ (boiled octopus - a real treat, once you shut your eyes and open your mouth). For the less adventurous there is also honest sausages, cheeses and lots of sweet delicacies. Children can partake in several workshops, play medieval games in the ‘ludoteca’ or sit and watch children’s theatre. The market in La Nucia (just 10 kms inland from Benidorm) is set up around the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) and is open on Friday 6th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July from 6pm onwards till after midnight. There is plenty of parking space nearby. For more information about the market call 639 979 678 - the organisers speak English. 
   
  San Juan Hogueras
The Noche de San Juan or Las Hogueras de San Juan is a very old Spanish Festivity going back to medieval times or possibly earlier. It is celebrated all over Spain but is especially important along the Mediterranean Coast. The 23rd June is the shortest night and this is traditional date for the celebration, the summer solstice. Bonfires (hogueras) are built in the week leading up to this magical night as old bits of wood, furniture any flammable rubbish are piled up on beaches or wasteland in preparation for the night.  Traditionally people throw away their old things onto the fire, together with anything unlucky, ready to start afresh the following year. In some places people will also write their wishes for the future on a paper and throw this onto the flames.
   
  Moraira Fiesta Programme
Moraira’s Moors and Christians festival is now underway but there is still plenty of activities and parades for you to enjoy this coming week
   
  II Medieval Market in Busot - 19 and 20 May
Last year the picturesque mountain village of Busot held its first medieval market. It turned out very well: many people visited the fair and were enchanted by the friendly atmosphere of the village giving plenty of reason to repeat it this year and to try and make it even more interesting and more successful than last year. The Market will again be organised by Amata, the regional craft association that selects participants particularly on presentation and quality - everything has to be made by the people behind the stalls and no cheap imports from other countries are permitted. The stalls will display a goodly variety of hand made goods such as ceramics, silver and enamel jewellery, carved and turned wood, soaps and perfumes, silk and wool shawls, paintings, on-the-spot portraits, dolls and wooden toys and many others. To sustain the visitor there are stalls with sausages, cheese, bread and preserved fruit prepared using traditional recipes as well as a medieval tavern.   The falconer will display her birds of prey and will walk around with her snakes, while troubadours, pages, jesters, a juggler, beggars and other medieval riff-raff wander through the motley crowd. There are a few workshops for children, from time to time there is a short medieval play (understandable for children of all ages and all nationalities) and each evening the juggler plays with fire. The market is open on the Saturday, May 19th and Sunday May 20th, from 10 am till 2pm and in the afternoons from 5 till 8pm, on the Saturday possibly a bit later.   Busot lies about 10 kms inland from Campello or Mutxamel and when you have visited the medieval market, you can drive on another few miles to the impressive caves ‘Cuevas del Canelobre’ which are well worth a visit.  In the village itself follow the white-and-green arrows marked ‘Mercado Medieval’ which lead directly to the Market. The organiser (who speak English) can be reached by phoning 639 979 678 and you can have a look at photographs of earlier fairs organised by Amata at their web-page www.amata.es.   
   
 
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