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Thursday, May 10, 2012 (read 8563 times)

Moors and Christians Festival in Spain

by Kimberly

The Moors and Christians Festival (Spanish: Moros y Cristianos; Valencian: Moros I Cristians) commemorates the battles that took place between the Moors and Christians during the Reconquista from the 8-15th Century.

The battle reenactments take place throughout Spain but primarily in the southern part of the Valencian Community and in Alicante.  The most popular Moors and Christians festival takes place in the city of Alcoi, Valencia from the 22-24 April. This date coincides with another popular festival in Valencia and Catalonia known as Saint George’s Day, or Sant Jordi. Legend has it that when James I of Aragon re-conquered the city from the Moors, the Moors were frightened away from re-attacking the city when Saint George appeared before them.

Today, the Moors and Christians Festival acts as a reenactment of the Moorish capture of the city followed by the Christian re-conquest. For several days, people dress up in medieval fashion representing either Christians or Moors. Christians wear armor, helmets, fur and often ride horses while those representing the Muslims dress up in ancient Arab costumes, carry scimitars and often ride elephants or camels.

The Moors and Christians Festival begins with the shot of gunpowder and is filled with medieval music, fireworks and many other events. The festival culminates when the Christians reenact a battle around the castle in which they overthrow the Moor invaders.

There are other towns with Moors and Christian festivals that visitors can enjoy throughout the year including:

·         Bocairent, Valencia(February 1-5)
·         Villajoyosa, Alicante(July 24-31)
·         Villena, Valencia(September 4-9)
·         Biar, Valencia(May 9-13)
·         Cocentaina, Alicante(second weekend of August)
·         Crevillent, Alicante(First weekend of October)
·         El Campello, Alicante(October 11-15)
·         Elda, Alicante(Last week of May/First week of June)
·         Muro d’ Alcoi, Valencia(Second week of May)
·         Oliva, Valencia(third weekend in July)
·         Ontinyent, Valencia(Last week of August)
·         Orihuela, Alicante(8 days long around the 17th of July)
·         Petrer, Valencia(Thursday-Monday around May 14th)
·         Pollença, Majorca(August 2)
·         Alicante city (5 neighborhoods): Villafranqueza (12-19 March), San Blas (9-22 June), Rebolledo (29 June-2 July), Altozano (12-16 August), Jose Antonio (24-28 August)

Other interesting Moors and Christian celebrations take place in Andalusia, a region that was formerly part of the Moorish kingdom.

Keywords: moors and christians, spanish reconquest, moors and christian festival, moors and christians fsetival, moors vs christians, moros y cristianos, moros and cristianos, moors and christian festival spain, moors and christian festival valencia, moors and christian festival alicante

Posted In: Spain, Culture


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