THE Day of the Valencian Community marks the anniversary of King James I of Aragon’s capture of the city of Valencia from Moorish forces in 1238. It is also the Day of Saint Dionysius, a traditional festival for lovers and will be celebrated throughout the province this year on Friday October 9 with numerous fiestas, parades and activities.
The International Festival of Pyrotechnics is held in the city of Valencia in early October and the finale of this festival marks the start of the Day of the Valencian Community celebrations.
Parades are held in the city of Valencia and other towns and villages in the region. The parades feature people dressed in medieval costumes and towns throughout the province will be holding parties and communal meals in the street.
October 9 is also the Day of Saint Dionysius, who is traditionally considered as the patron saint of lovers and there is the custom of giving the gift of a Mocaorà, a silken scarf containing marzipan pastries handcrafted by Valencia’s confectioners.
Valencian men traditionally give their sweethearts gifts of marzipan sweets on this day. James I of Aragon took control of the area that is now the autonomous community of Valencia in 1208. He captured the city of Valencia on October 9, 1238. James I of Aragon created the Kingdom of Valencia, an independent country under his control, later that year. Valencia did not become part of the Kingdom of Spain until 1707.
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community on the eastern coast of Spain, gaining partial autonomy in 1977 and full autonomy in 1982. The Valencian flag will be widely displayed on the day and has been in use since 1159.