<< Españolear, españolear es lo que hacen los turistas cuando vienen por acá […] ellos saben que lo nuestro les dará felicidad>>.*
Españolear is that unique character that identifies Spain in the whole world and captivates all who visit our country. It’s to indulge ourselves in joy and self-confidence, to go out for tapas and chat with everybody, to enjoy a siesta and a warm night-time walk, to taste a fresh glass of sangria under the sun on a terrace. Españolear is to feel the flamenco, to dance sevillanas and pasodobles, to participate in our open-air festivals, to relive our long history through the traditional parades and costumes. Españolear is expecting to come sightseeing and unintentionally becoming a true Spaniard.
In our country, there are so many ways to Españolear… Every corner of our land offers its visitors a completely unique and different way to Españolear, because every corner has a different story to tell, a heritage to explore, local festivals to experience and new flavours to discover. So many… that not even us, Spaniards, know all the treasures we have.
In the southeast of the Region of Valencia lies one of the most unknown and fascinating treasures of the Costa Blanca, a picturesque oasis planted with more than 200.000 palm trees that flood the city of Elche and transport us to the times of the great Mozarabic kingdoms of the eighth century. The moment of entering our city and observing its unique landscape for the first time, produces the same effect in all the tourists that visit us, whether they’re Spanish or foreign: an evident expression of disbelief.
Not many know -including the inhabitants of the Region of Valencia- that this unknown treasure has no less than three World Heritage sites, an unmistakable sign of the cultural and historical richness of Elche: The Palm Grove, The Misteri and the School Museum of Pusol. With thousands of years of history and countless civilizations that have occupied it, it is not surprising that our cultural and historical heritage is great.
But today we will not talk about our landmarks or the places that you can visit here. Today we are here to introduce to a new concept: to Elchear. Indulge yourself in our customs that are unique to us and to no one else, and become a true Ilicitan.
Annual Guide of the Perfect Elcheador
• Begin the year by immersing yourself in the magic and illusion of Christmas on the night of the Three Wise Men’s Parade and watch the children wave enthusiastically “les atxes” to show them the way to their houses and receive the gifts they’ve been longing for all year.
• Enjoy the exclusive gastronomy that only our city can offer you. Some delicias de Elche are the perfect Sunday apéritif, a little bite that is just an entrance to our most typical dish, arroz con costra. To finish, a dessert with products of our land -dates or pomegranates- as the cherry on the top to your gastronomic Elchear experience.
• Discover the religious tradition that characterises Spain during the Holy Week. Take a white palm leaf and walk through the streets of Elche in one of our most internationally recognised fiestas, Palm Sunday. Let yourself be overwhelmed by the drums, the Nazareno costumes and the silence of its processions. Finish the week under the colourful rain of Aleluyas that floods Elche on the Sunday of Resurrection. And after all this hustle and bustle, meet your friends to go to the Pantano to eat la mona. Look for your most annoying friend and crack the hard-boiled egg on his forehead!
• Before the sweltering summer heat arrives, hike through one of our protected natural sites. Let yourself be surprised by our native flora and fauna by touring the Clot de Galvany or El Hondo and complete the day by recharging your batteries with a piece of our typical coca de mollitas.
• And our favourite time of the year arrives, summer! If you want to be a real Ilicitan, prepare your swimsuit and go to one of our delightful beaches. Sunbathe, take a dip, order a mojito in a chiringuito and taste one of the treasures of our gastronomy, a caldero with fresh fish from the bay.
• In August, we recall one of the most important episodes of the Spanish history -The Reconquest- through the parades of Moors and Christians. Pasodobles with live music, lights, colour, dances and the majesty of their clothes will transport you to one of the most splendid times of the city. Thus, begins our most important festival followed by the representations of El Misteri, a lyrical religious performance dating from the fifteenth century, that has remained intact until today and is one of the greatest prides of our city. The nights of the Nit de l’Albà and the Roà are when the term elchear takes on its full meaning. Admire the city lit up by the pyrotechnic shows, live the adrenaline rush of running in front of the carretillas, dance until dawn and finish it all off with chocolate and churros before going to bed.
• Heat is gone and, in its place, comes another of the oldest and most exclusive traditions of Elche: The Coming of the Virgin. A touching representation held at El Pinet Beach of how, in times of the Reconquest, an anonymous hero rescued the effigy of our patroness from being destroyed by throwing it into the sea in a chest. On the 28th of December wait on the beach for the arrival of our patroness through the sea to accompany her to the city in pilgrimage, as one more Ilicitan.
Now, are you not dying to Elchear? We will teach you how to do it while learning Spanish in the only school accredited by the Instituto Cervantes in the city, Top School. Do you want to know everything we can offer you? Visit us at www.topschoolinspain.com
Españolea, elchea and, above all, learn Spanish with Top School in a destination that will captivate you.
<<Cantan, ríen, sueñan y disfrutan […] Se ponen muy tristes cuando marchan porque dejan de Españolear>>.*
*Song <<Españolear>>, Luis Lucena (1969)
To receive our news by email.