Walk, feast, and celebrate: Alicante’s Santa Faz Pilgrimage

Walk, feast, and celebrate: Alicante's Santa Faz Pilgrimage. Image: Monasterio de La Santa Faz / Facebook.

Walk, feast, and celebrate: Alicante's Santa Faz Pilgrimage.

Alicante is renowned for its lively festivals, with one of its most cherished traditions being the “La Peregrina” (pilgrimage) of Santa Faz.

This annual event on Costa Blanca takes place two Thursdays after Holy Thursday, starting at Alicante’s San Nicolás Cathedral and ending at the Monastery of Santa Faz, home to the revered relic known as Santa Faz.

Revered Relic

This relic is believed to bear the imprint of Christ’s face, used to wipe his face on his way to Calvary, and is one of only three recognised by the Catholic Church.

During the pilgrimage, participants carry long reeds adorned with rosemary branches on the roughly two-hour journey.

The atmosphere is festive, with opportunities to rest, enjoy local sweets and wines, and browse craft stalls set up along the route.

Upon reaching the monastery, pilgrims attend a large mass.

Outdoor Festivities

For those not participating in the religious service, outdoor festivities are held around the monastery.

The Santa Faz pilgrimage ranks as the second largest in Spain by attendance, after the pilgrimage to Rocío in Seville.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, UK, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 20 years.