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Moors and Christians in Alcoy, the show begins
Publishing date 28/04/2014
Music, fireworks, the Christian and Moorish embassies and entrances... on May 2, Alcoy will host a show full of light and colour, the festivities dedicated to its patron saint, Saint George, a series of celebrations that are awaited with impatience and excitement and which transform the city utterly. As the festivities reach Alcoy, its streets become a place of frenetic activity in which you, too, can participate. Come and enjoy the Moors and Christians festivities in Alcoy. Vixca la festa i amunt la festa! (Long live the festivities!).
To visit Alcoy whilst its Moors and Christians celebrations are being held is like travelling through time. The Christian filaes seem to be immersed in the Reconquista, and the Moorish ones make you feel as if you were visiting a palace in Fez. To experience the festivities, to bask in the mood and to have fun is the goal of these celebrations, which commemorate a miraculous event that took place in the city in 1276.
The Trilogy of Festivities is the structure of the celebrations, divided into three days: the day of the Entrances, the day of Saint George and the day of the Alardos.
The musicians are at the centre of the celebrations prior to these three days. On may 2, Musicians' Day is commemorated with events such as the Pasodoble Festival, the launching of the first festive castle from San Jorge Bridge and the celebration of the Nit de l'Olla, a banquet of participants and musicians that culminates with a parade up to the Plaza de España.
As the morning of Saturday 3 advances, the streets become a stream of people rushing to watch the Christian Entrance to the sound of the trumpets and drums that accompany the chariot of the Christian Captain, surrounded by his knights. Throughout the morning, filaes parade with their squadrons, their music, their carriages loaded with children, up until the arrival of the Christian Ensign, closing the Christian Entrance. After a brief pause to recover, the Moorish Entrance begins, in an explosion of imagination and sensuality that submerges visitors in an Eastern universe of dancers, African warriors and animals and a stream of confetti and ribbons thrown from the crowded balconies.
The second day of the festivities, May 4, is dedicated to Saint George, represented in Alcoy by a child who stars at the centre of the festivities. Visitors can watch the children's parade and processions and admire the splendid attire of the main actors of the festivities, and contemplate the admiration and affection of the entire town of Alcoy towards Sant Jordiet, the child who represents the figure of Saint George.
During the day of the Alardo, May 5, a dialectical fight takes place through the Embassies, as well as a bloodless struggle with thundering muskets, submerging the city in a storm of gunpowder and thunder. Both sides, Moorish and Christian, alternate in the capture and reconquest of the castle, whilst Alcoy is filled with the smoke of gunpowder and the unique smell of musket fire. By the afternoon, the child Sant Jordiet appears on the towers of the Castle, riding his white steed, re-creating the miracle commemorated by the town of Alcoy for hundreds of years.
This marks the end of a trilogy of festivities, festivities that are bound to engrave unforgettable emotions and feelings in the minds of all those visitors who were fortunate enough to attend them.