The Feast
Algemesí is a village marked by celebration, each 7 and 8 September, one of the most entrenched and important for the Valencian festivals: procession of the Virgin of health. Devotion to a Marian image found according to the legend back in the year 1247 in the trunk of a mulberry, has become a benchmark on which is based a procession of dances and unique music. Tradition, faith and culture parade through the streets: are the celebrations of the Virgin of health.
The first news that are known about the celebration of the Festival are a few games of disclaimer about the cost of the feast of the Virgin in 1610, by initiative of the neighbours of the streets Berca where there is the chapel of the finding. In 1680 he went from street party to become party of the entire people. It is quite possible that the party was already established in 1747, with the commemoration of the Fifth Centenary of the discovery and is intended in a procession of general return.
History leaves in its wake rituals and representations that sediments the identity of peoples. Much-needed concerning irrefutable acceptance, Valencian society has found an ancient manifestation on which to write their future. For this reason, the patron saint of Algemesí merit special attention. The resurgence in recent decades and its undeniable anthropological value make it a living manifestation of the Valencian culture.
Every 7 and 8 September processions to the Virgin fill the streets of color stars that are recreated in the capricious movements of "Muixeranga", "Apricot", "Artichoke", "Arquets","Pastoretes", "Bolero" i "Tornejants". Sound, echoes the melodies of the dulzaina and the tambourine. They are the dances and the music of a people who, from generation to generation, participates, either conscious or unconscious, in the framework of the Festival, in the construction and development of the identity.
The first sounds that herald the imminent start of the holidays arrive on 6 September, the "night of the return". The bells of the Basilica of San Jaime played non-stop for the night. It is a ritual in which he remembers the miraculous return of the image of the Virgin of health from the town of Alzira to a fledgling village at the beginning of the 13th century, Algemesí, making the image in the axis of its independence.
When you arrive on September 7 in our city, as it is Festival time. When evening falls, the bells of the Basilica of Santiago started a powerful rhythm that echoes throughout the city, is the peal of the "Xerevi" to a dump from the headquarters of Valencia which marks the immediate start of the party.
Ceases ringing and silence that descends from on high bell announces that the doors of the Basilica will be open. They sound the first notes of dulzaina and the dances begin the first of the processions, the promises, in honor of the many neighbors involved. The Muixeranga rise  your towers, echoing the blows of the "Bastonets", They want the neat suits “Carxofa”, the “Arquets” and the “Pastorets”; Bolero of them "llauradores" sounds, while the majestic "tornejants" redoubling their steps warriors. Everything has its ritual and a show that might seem baroque and disorderly, it becomes a perfect parade where all players know exactly the date, time and place that requires their participation.The procession, which begins with the mysteries and martyrdoms, has a scrupulous order with the towers of the "Muixeranga" Second, the "Bastonets", the "Carxofa" the "Arquets", the "Pastorets" Bolero or "llauradores".The second part of the procession is religious. Led by "Cruz Mayor", follow the "tornejants" the banner of the Virgin, the public and festive. The presidency is in charge of the clergy, the depositary, the secretary and organizer festeros neighborhood, members of the municipal corporation, the band and promises.
Within the trilogy necessary processions of this feast, in the second, the color has a special role. On the morning of September 8, day of the patron, a new sample of popular devotion is celebrated. Known as "Processoneta the Matí" offers a number of nuances and unique details that daylight gives the visitor who contemplates this traditional show.This is the shortest but undoubtedly the most intense and visited processions. In the few meters separating the "Chapel of the Troballa" of the Basilica of San Jaime, all dances concentrate along the Berca street and the square Coal.
One of the highlights of the festival is the entrance of the image of the Virgin of Health in the Basilica of San Jaime. Within a small space of the Plaza Mayor, all the dances dance at the same time. For a few minutes an indescribable spectacle occurs: the pictures speak for themselves. It is one of the most baroque tableaux party.
With the facade of the Basilica as a backdrop, all the dances dance at the same time as the image bearers allegorical triple attempt made one entrance that culminates in a grand finale of multitudinous applause.
The third and final procession of the celebrations of the Virgin, which is the longest with more than 7 hours, starts the same September 8 at 20 am from the lower Basilica of St. James and always ends, although no no set schedule, after two in the morning. popularly known as the general return procession, traditional dances of Algemesí and the image of the patron pass back through the old quarter of town, repeating the original itinerary of 1724, when the first news about the solemnization of the parties appear.
This year, the party has had two important novelties for their empowerment. The costumes of biblical characters have been recovered and moreover also have new costumes for some very important characters and a bit forgotten our procession as are the "sergeants".
The final destination of this project is the Plaza Mayor, the starting point and return, where the public expects the arrival of the image. The long journey of this last procession makes it inevitable that the entrance to the temple image occurs late in the morning. With the last access of the Virgin in the Basilica, comes the grand finale of a feast.
The habit is a habit acquired by the force of a project. Year after year, Algemesí sits a little history of a people that strengthens its identity from generation to generation. The very name of this latent process are the celebrations of the Virgin of Health. Each 7 and 8 September, the veneration of a people to their Virgin is manifested in all living compendium of cultural anthropology. A tribute to feelings, faith and culture has again paraded through the streets of our city.
But not all end here. The party has crossed the weak local borders to become an admired show, followed and loved by all Valencians. What has managed to recover and enhance can never be lost again. That is at least one of the objectives of the Party Museum, located in one of the rooms of the convent of San Vicente recovered.
The strength and progression Algemesí party has not gone unnoticed by the Ministry of Culture of the Government to grant the Procession of the Virgen de la Salud title of Cultural Interest, according favorable report made by CVC. Both the Museum of the Fiesta as this statement are two sides of the same coin. It is the realization that the Valencians facing Algemesí and the procession is stronger than ever.

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