If you like to watch skilled crafts men and women at work, you should make a note of 6 and 7 August in your agenda. That’s the week-end on which something like twenty or thirty craft people will set up shop in the little village of Hondón de las Nieves.
Not only will they show (and sell) what they have made, you can also watch most of them at work, ask questions on techniques, tools and materials, and quite a few speak some English. There will be people working with leather, wood and paper, people modelling clay, painting or making macramé and jewelry, all people who love their work and want you to share the pleasure.
There will also be workshops for children, old fashioned table games and a few stalls with traditional delicacies: Felipe sells pan de higos, made of dried figs and almonds and will show you how arrop i tallaetes is made, a Valencian speciality made of grape syrup and pieces of pumpkin. You can try Arab food and delicacies in the tea tent or have a sweet or savoury pancake made while you watch. Quite a few local people participate in the fair and a group of local youngsters runs a tavern.
The fair is organised by Amata, the regional craft association that has spent the last 20 years organising the few real craft markets to be found in this part of Spain. Everything on the stalls has to be made by hand and has to be made by the person actually on the stall. It’s not easy to make a living in this fashion, when there is so much competition from people selling mainly imported goods, but it can be done.
The Town Hall of Hondón de las Nieves has asked Amata to organise this fair in the weekend of their famous Correfocs (literally: Fire run) – at midnight on Saturday the 6th of August a group of people, dressed as devils and other fantastic caracters acompanied will run, jump and dance around a big float that drives slowly through the streets of the village, while setting off all sorts of fireworks, a spectacular – and above all a noisy – event that attracts hordes of people to the village.
The Craft Fair will be held on quieter moments: it starts on both Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August at 7 pm and stays open till midnight. Hondón lies not far from Elche, Crevillente and Novelda; to get there from further away, take the exit “Aspe” on the A7 (South of Alicante) or A31 (Alicante-Madrid) motorway and in Aspe itself follow the signs for Crevillente and Hondón de las Nieves.
For more information, ring 639 979 678, we even speak English. Although last year the fair was not organised by Amata, you can see pretty pictures of previous Amata markets in Hondón de las Nieves at http://www.amata.es/Hondon13.html and http://www.amata.es/Hondon14.html.