The Valencian Community will commemorate historical October 9th this year with the inauguration of the the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in the City of Arts and Sciences. In addition, celebratory acts and cultural events are scheduled to take place in towns and cities, as well as in the capital city, Valencia. The official acts will solemnly commemorate the founding of Valencia more than seven centuries ago.

This year the program events, starting on October the 8th, will be capped by the inauguration of the Reina Sofía Arts Palace in the City of Arts and Sciences. There will be two opening concerts on the 8th and 9th, various musical and festive events on the 9th and, on the 25th, to close the Presentation Ceremony, Zubin Metha will conduct the Israeli Philharmonic orchestra at the site of emblematic Santiago Calatrava’s construction, in celebration of the completion of the City of Arts and Sciences building complex.

The opening concert on October the 8th, which will be attended by Her Highness Queen Doña Sofía, will be conducted by Master Lorin Maazel in the first part, and then by Mazaael and Enrique García Asensio. Other participating foreign and national music professionals include Angela Georghiu, Carlos Alvarez and Ofelia Sala. Thirteen singers, ten of whom will be Valencians, and the Orquesta Valencia Music will perform. The concert will end with the Valencian Hymn and, at night, a fireworks display will take place in the Turia river bed.

The Reina Sofía Arts Palace is a 40,000 square metre space that is 75 metres high. It has a Main Auditorium, a Master Classroom, another auditorium on the upper level and a Chamber Room. These spaces will allow for many types of representations, from classical to contemporary music. In addition, many cultural activities can be take place in the Palace. On October the 9th, after the official reception of the President of the Region of Valencia and a commemoration act for distinguished Valencian personalities, a series of traditional acts going back to the period of King Pedro el Ceremonioso in 1365 will be held. These will commence when the Reial Senyera (Valencian royal flag) descends with flourish and fanfare from the Town Hall’s main balcony. The flag will then be paraded to the Cathedral, where the religious act Te Deum is scheduled. After that, the flag will be escorted to the Palau de la Generalitat (palace of the Government of the Region of Valencia), where the Valencian Hymn will once again be sung. The cortège will then proceed to the Plaza Alfonso el Magnánimo, where, in front of the statue of Jaime I, a floral offering will be held, after which the flag will be marched back to the Town Hall, where a mascletà will take place.

October 9th is also the day of the celebration of Sant Dionís, traditionally considered to be the patron of lovers. On that day men present women with a Mocaorà, a silk handkerchief containing small marzipan figures elaborated by Valencian bakers. The marzipans, called Piuleta and Tronador, are made of almond, sugar and egg yolk, and are in the shape of different kinds of fruit.

The occasion will also be celebrated by festive popular events across the Region of Valencia. These include play areas for children and handcraft workshops, as well as games and informative exhibitions, where people can get to know more about the Institution of the Government of the Region of Valencia. There will also be traditional dancing to the tune of the dolzaina i tabalet (regional instruments), plus Moors and Christians parades.