This holiday commemorates the day in 1238 when James I the Conqueror, King of Aragon, entered and re-took the city back from Moorish invaders. James I created the Kingdom of Valencia, an independent country under his control, which then in 1707 became part of the Kingdom of Spain.
The day is a public holiday in Valencia and the majority of businesses close for the day. At the beginning of October, an International Fireworks Festival takes place, which runs up to the 9th of October, when the fiesta starts. Parades are held in many locations throughout the region, with people dressed in medieval costumes, followed by communal meals and parties.
9th October is also the celebrated as the Day of Saint Dionysius, who was considered to be the patron saint of lovers. There is a local tradition in the area to give a gift of a ‘Mocaora’ which is a silk scarf containing marzipan pastries.