The councillor for Festivities in Orihuela (Alicante), Mariola Rocamora, has detailed the entire schedule of entertainment lined up for the traditional festivities in honour of the Virgin of Monserrate, which will run from Thursday 6 to Sunday 16 September.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Rocamora was accompanied by Paco Serna, vice president of the Archconfraternity of the Virgin of Monserrate, who was in charge of ensuring the liturgical and religious events are at the centre of the celebrations.

The event begins on Thursday with a mass at 8:00 pm, celebrated by the residents of the Rabaloche for the last 10 years, which will be followed by the transfer of the icon from its Sanctuary to the Cathedral of El Salvador at 9:00 p.m.

The mass will be followed by an evening serenade concert in the Ramón Sijé square, starting at 9.45 pm, where the Orihuela Philharmonic Band will be accompanied by the dance team of the ACAMDO cultural association. In addition, there will be guest appearances by artists Isabel Ruiz and Ángel Bellido, “interpreting pieces of different musical genres that will delight all those present,” according to the councillor.

On Saturday, September 8, the day of the Virgin of Monserrate, “it will begin with a general bell ringing throughout Orihuela with the 21 traditional salvos from La cueva del tío Paco “, explained Francisco Serna, where at 11.30 am in the Cathedral of El Salvador, a mass offered by the Local Police of Orihuela in honour of its patron will be celebrated, later moving to La Lonja for a celebration of the work of the officers and civilians with recognition for their efforts through awards.

It will be from 7:00 pm when another liturgy will take place in honour of the Virgin in the Cathedral of El Salvador, read by the dean, followed by the procession in honour of the Virgin, which will include the traditional giants and big heads, and that will leave and return to the Cathedral of El Salvador.

The program will continue on Wednesday the 12th with the representation of the children’s musical concert “La bruja Eloise”, which will take place in the Ramón Sijé square starting at 9:30 p.m., with an evening of fun theatre and music for the whole family.

On Thursday the 13th at 9:30 p.m., also in the Ramón Sijé square, a concert by the Orihuela-based “Troupers Swing Band” will be held, combining their own songs with versions of swing and rockabilly.

On Saturday, September 15, there will be the traditional ‘besamanto’ of the Virgin of Monserrate, taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m., “where the Association of Agronomist Engineers of Orihuela will celebrate the Virgin from 12.00 noon.

The celebrations will finish with a spectacular fireworks display at the conclusion of the Virgin’s transfer back to her sanctuary, on Sunday, September 16 at 8:00 p.m., just after the final mass of the fiesta, which starts at 7:00 p.m., which will be presided over by Jesús Murgui, Bishop of the Diocese of Orihuela-Alicante.

All residents from across the municipality and beyond are welcome to celebrate this fiesta of honour, as Orihuela´s patron is once more given the tribute she deserves, before resting for another year.

The Virgin of Montserrat, popularly known as La Moreneta, is also the patron saint of Catalonia.

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