Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of its patron saint, San Francisco de Borja, the town will be holding public festivities all summer and there’s truly something for everyone.
Let’s start with music:
On June 23, the “Fiesta de San Juan” celebrates the shortest night of the year with bonfires and music on the town’s beach.
On July 9 and 10 the “Festival Borja Music Summer and Sand” will present popular bands and DJ’s on the same beach.
From July 20 to 24, “Festival Les Venus de la Mediterranean” features singer-songwriters such as Jane Birkin, Maria del Mar Bonnet and Ute Limper at venues on the beach and on the patio of the Ducal Palace. For the entire month of August the “Casa de la Marques” will play host to the International Music Festival of Gandia.
From September 28 to October 3, the town holds its traditional fair celebrated with additional pomp in honor of the 500th anniversary of the saint’s birth.
Those that are into regional cuisine also have tons of options — the biggest of which are two gastronomic fairs taking place from September 17-19 and then in the winter from December 11-19. Most restaurants in the town’s historic square will participate and offer up a unique Gandia take on Spanish cuisine.
The recipes feature traditional Gandian favorites like stuffed squid and rabbit, as well as truly authentic medieval preparations. One such recipe is for a garlic sauce made with bread, garlic, oil and fish stock. Almonds may substitute for the bread, a variant that works well with eel. Another medieval recipe is a leek puree which, instead of the cream used in a modern Vichyssoise, has almond-milk – true to Valencia’s Mediterranean heritage and to the dietary laws of Medieval Jews and Muslims who contributed to the region’s customs.
Photo credit: Museo Bellas Artes de Sevilla / Portrait of Saint Francis Borgia by Alonso Cano (Granada, 1601 – 1667)
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