At this celebration, Benicàssim buzzes in unison with residents, visitors and tourists while savouring one of the most traditional Mediterranean dishes: paella.
Paella Day is usually celebrated on the Friday of the town's Patron Saint Festival but, as opposed to what you might think, this is not a celebration in which a giant paella is prepared, rather it is the local or visitor themself who provides all the ingredients to make the most varied paellas according to the taste, skill and even origin of the chef who prepares it for their family and friends.
As you can see, this festival’s originality lies in the large number of paellas cooked at the same time on the most central streets of Benicàssim.
What is the origin of this festival?
This popular tradition is supported by the tendency of the Valencian Community inhabitants to celebrate events and festivities with a good paella.
Since the first year it was celebrated in 1980, one of the most striking features of this festival has been its spontaneous growth, which has allowed mass participation. It has united about 20,000 people and more than 1000 paellas in recent years.
The day contributes to the diffusion of the typical popular gastronomy of the Valencian Community with its prime example: the paella, the best known dish in the world whose richness consists of the variety of both its ingredients and the details used during cooking.
In the Valencian Community, paella is a great celebration in itself as it is a typical dish combining the freshest and tastiest ingredients of Valencian gastronomy to give rise to a complete, varied and delicious dish that does not need any other accompaniment.
Year after year, this festival is awaited with great enthusiasm by locals and visitors who enjoy the company of family and friends in a relaxed, festive atmosphere of great camaraderie and friendship.
Numerous hotel establishments and especially campsites offer their clients the Paella Day Festival as a first class tourist resource and market it in this way, indicating the great impact of the celebration among the locals themselves, people from the province and visitors. The latter are attracted by the spirit of integration between neighbours which allows the transmission of the area’s culture through this completely unique event.
How Can I Take Part?
If you want to enjoy this magnificent and participatory Benicàssim tradition, register at Benicàssim Town Hall in advance to enjoy the table, firewood, trivets, rice and virgin olive oil offered by the City Council and Local Agricultural Cooperative each year to support the celebration as much as possible.
Then all that’s left to do is come along with friends and family to be surprised by the atmosphere of familiarity, good company and great gastronomic tradition that sweeps over the streets of Benicàssim for a whole day.
In addition, both the Council and catering establishments in the old town have offered dances and musical performances throughout the morning, afternoon and evening in recent years to liven up the day, which lasts until the early hours of the morning, and complement this event with a very high visitor attraction.
Due to interest in the celebration, Benicàssim Paella Day was awarded the Declaration of Autonomous Tourism Interest on 26 November 2018.