One of the special festivities of the Valencian Community is the day of San Antonio Abad (Sant Antoni), which is deeply rooted and also declared of local tourist interest in Benissa.
The Sant Antoni fair is well known in the towns near Benissa, it is one of the largest in the Valencian Community, a unique fair that we encourage you to visit.
The fair takes place from the second to the fourth weekend of January. For years this fair was the commercial centre of the region, where livestock were exchanged. Now it offers fairground attractions, animal blessing, livestock fairs, medieval market and a wide range of cultural and sports activities.
The fair starts on Friday, when the attractions for children are opened. The first Saturday is the day of the burning of the bonfire, that day there is popular food enlivened with traditional Valencian music. On Saturday afternoon the fair officially opens and at night the traditional bonfire burns.
We make a break in the schedule just to explain the origin of this event. In ancient times this celebration was held to commemorate the winter solstice and honour the sun. Fire symbolized life, purification and renewal; in addition, tribute was paid to the animals that were essential for daily life, since they served as food, as a means of transport and for work in the field.
On the first Sunday there is a parade with horses and carriages and a small parade with pets, a very colourful and varied event that you cannot miss and that precedes the blessing of animals. Another very important activity to point out is the wine tunnel, which takes place in the Paseo Dolores Piera, there visitors can taste wine and tapas. We recommend it 100%!
Among other activities, there are also exhibitions of old and new cars, bird exhibition, livestock fair and a spectacular medieval market, which runs along the main street of the historic centre: the Puríssima street.
Are you going to miss it?
During the Fira i Porrat de Sant Antoni, you have the possibility to visit this stately home from the XVIII-XIX century in the historic centre. A house that preserves the original furniture and shows us how the wealthy families of Benissa lived.