Immediately following Semana Santa I set off for spring break (but thats a different story). What better thing to welcome me back home to Alicante though than, yes, you guessed it, another holiday. This one was a little different as I was an active participant. This holiday was called Santa Faz. For this day, the people who want to, wake up bright and early (my host mom and I left at 7am) and walk over to the main church in Alicante's barrio. There we grab walking sticks and start our trek. We walked about 7 kilometers (a little over 4 miles) to the pueblo Santa Faz where there is a church and street vendors. Some people, those who feel the need to repent something, do the walk barefooted. Many at this point in time wear sneakers but enter the church to pray and repent and give thanks when they arrive in Santa Faz.
I felt very lucky to be able to do the walk with my host mom, practicing my Spanish and learning along the way. While we walked, I noticed many young people pushing shopping carts on their walk. It turns out, over the years the holiday has become a little more about partying for the young people of Alicante than about anything else. Almost every group of teens had a shopping cart decorated and filled with booze and food and their personal belongings. Luckily for me, I did the walk in the early morning with my host mom and was able to see the way the holiday was practiced more traditionally in Alicante. Afterward, I walked down the Playa San Juan, where they youth had congregated, and met up with my host sister Maria. There, I was able to experience the different side of life of this holiday, and see how the typical teenage Alicantinos spend Santa Faz. It was definitely interesting to see the contrast and experience the day as a whole. I would highly recommend participating in any and all events and holidays in your host city as possible. It is definitely where you learn the most, and feel the most a part of your city!