October 9th: Valencian Community Day + Valentine’s Day
October 9th is a big day in the Valencian region — two (completely unrelated) local holidays fall on this day and the Valencians don’t seem to fall short of celebrating either one of them!
Just like any Spanish holiday celebrated here, October 9th will have a mascleta to end the celebrations and plenty of traditional clothing can be seen throughout the day.
So what are these holidays and what are they celebrating?
The first holiday to discuss is Valencian Community Day, or Nou D’Octubre as the Valencians call it, is an important holidays for this region as it is basically their local version of Independence Day. The name of the holiday literally means 9th of October in Valencian, and represents the Reconquista, when the Christians took back control of Valencia after 500 years of Moorish rule. October 9th is the actual day King Jaime I of Aragon captured the city in 1238.
How do they celebrate?
There are many events which take place in the days leading up to the holiday and on the actual day itself.
On October 7th, two days before the holiday, you can see a live reenactment of the surrender of the Moors to King Jaime I and the Christians. This takes place at the Serranos Towers.
On October 9th, there is a concert at Palau de la Music and fireworks in Turia Park. The Senyera, which is the original flag of the Valencian Community, is brought across the city to Plaza de la Virgen on this day and given as a flower offering to King Jaime I.
The second holiday which takes place on October 9th is also a special day in the Valencian Community for another, completely separate reason! The Day of Saint Dionysius (Sant Dionís) is Valencian’s version of Valentine’s Day, since Saint Dionís is the saint of lovers. Lovers celebrate with a traditional gift given on this day known as a Mocaorà, which is a silk scarf wrapped around sweet marzipan treats.
There are plenty more holidays and festivals coming up in the next few months in Valencia so be sure to check out our blog to find out the significance and traditions of each of them!