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Culture
 
  An Invitation To Mass
Around seven years ago now, a new initiative to celebrate Torrevieja’s annual patronal fiestas has now become an integral part of this special event. Each evening, during the ‘novena’, the nine days following the main ‘Inmaculada Concepción’ celebration on 8th December, the evening mass has been dedicated to a particular section of the local community.
   
  Costa Blanca Tango Festival In Alicante
Costa Blanca Tango Festival In Alicante15th and 16th December
   
  Medieval Market in Jijona
The town of Jijona (or Xixona, in Valenciano) is famous throughout Spain for its ice cream and for its ‘turrón’, the Spanish nougat of many different varieties that is eaten traditionally at Christmas. There are many turrón and ice cream factories and even a turrón museum, but in the weekend of 15 and 16 December, Xixona will offer something more than just nougat! The town sets up a medieval market, offers guided tours through the picturesque old centre, exhibitions and a range of other activities.For the third year in a row the Calle Mare de Deu de l'Orito, a side street of the road to Tibi, will be converted into a medieval world with gay bunting and flags, stiltwalkers, beggars, monks, dwarfs and other medieval characters, while the town crier will announce the shows of belly dancers, street theatre and juggling. A glass blower, two young Czech blacksmiths and a master carpenter will demonstrate their skills, and for the children there is a miniature animal farm - pigs, ducks and goats - as well as a train of four donkeys offering rides through the market.Several local groups will also set up stalls in the market. The local folk dancing group will perform four times during the weekend and in the cultural centre there will be an exhibition of works from the painting competition ‘Jijona en Flor’ (Jijona in flower) and another of ceramics where a local potter can actually be seen at work. In the Convent, also next to the market, the turrón museum will mount an exhibition about how turrón and ice cream are made.The association of turrón manufacturers will offer samples of their products and the Town Hall will organise guided tours through the old town with its narrow, winding streets, picturesque corners and hundreds of steps (not suitable for people with a bad leg).The medieval market itself is organised by Amata, a craft association that only admits original craft work (no imported goods, nothing bought from the wholesalers) and thus guarantees a good opportunity to buy something different as a Christmas present. There will be more than 50 stalls displaying a goodly variety of hand made goods such as ceramics, silver and enamel jewelry, carved and turned wood, soaps and perfumes, paintings, on-the-spot portraits, dolls and wooden toys and many others. To sustain the visitor there will be a medieval tavern and an Arab tea tent, as well as stalls with sausages, bread and preserved fruit prepared using traditional recipes.Opening times on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December are from 11am till 2pm and from 5pm till 9pm or later.  Xixona (or Jijona) can be found on the old N-340 main road from Alicante to Alcoy.  Once you have reached Xixona, to get to the market follow the green-and-white arrows ‘Mercat Medieval.’The following weekend Amata will organise a similar market in the Old Town of Calpe.  For further information (in English) ring 639 979 678 or visit www.amata.es.  The markets are also an excellent place to try out your new digital camera; if you make any good shots, Amata will appreciate it if you send them to [email protected]
   
  Survival Spanish (Level 2)
The ‘Oficna de Atención al Residente Internacional’ of the town hall of Torrevieja is pleased to announce that a further course of the overwhelmingly popular ‘Survival Spanish’ classes, fronted by language teacher, Jane Cronin, will commence as from Tuesday 15th January 2008 and continue each Tuesday and Thursday morning (from 12.00 to 13.00h) in the town’s ‘Palacio de la Música’ until Thursday 3rd April 2008 inclusive. Once again, and owing to public demand, this time the course will offer a higher level and be aimed at those students who have already completed the very popular, basic level ‘Survival Spanish’ course as well as those who have some basic knowledge of Castellano Spanish.
   
  Carols With ‘The Harmonisers’
The Torrevieja Barbershop Harmonisers have been asked by The Ayuntamiento of Rojales, to lead in the singing of some Christmas Carols at The Cultural Centre in Quesada and we were only too happy to accept the invitation.
   
 
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