All Saints fair in Cocentaina


Cocentaina fair has been going since 1346 and (apart from the civil war years in the 1930s) it has been a continuous agricultural fair from the medieval period to the present day.  It takes place on the weekend of All Saints every year. While the original purpose of the fair was oriented towards the town’s function as an agricultural and business centre, today it has a very strong appeal for visitors with its “medieval market” appeal. The streets are crowded with visitors from Valencia who arrive in special trains laid on for the three day fair, jostling their way through the crowded medieval streets, examining the craft stalls and tasting the over-priced foods on display.

From my point of view, the attraction is the animals – still present but only as a token presence at the fair – and usually there are some pretty young donkeys. Today was no exception. The above donkey foal was one nervous star of the show, and the foal below was one of a pair of twins with a very slight looking mother.


For my donkeys, the fair is useful because there are stalls with a wide range of equine tack.  Aitana has outgrown her foal head collar and I bought her a new pony-sized head collar: a green one to replace her earlier green one, and a matching green lead rope.

Further information:
Cocentaina town hall web pages for this year’s fair:

Donkey Behaviour Conference

Also coinciding with All Saints day is the opening of the first international symposium on donkey behaviour, in Davis, California, with Ben Hart (the “donkey whisperer” of the Dorset Donkey Sanctuary) delivering his presentation to 120 vets, scientists, donkey charity workers and donkey owners.  I cannot wait to read his presentations, to be published on the Donkey Sanctuary site:


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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One Response to All Saints fair in Cocentaina

  1. Alys says:

    Very strong will power shown. No further fluffy donks acquired…

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