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Moors and Christians in Alcoy
Nowhere is the re-enactment of the Moros y Cristianos festivity as spectacular as in Alcoi.It commemorates events that took place in the XIII Century, in the times of Jaime I the Conqueror, when the city was attacked by troops led by the Moorish captain, Al-Azraq. According to the legend, St. George appeared on horseback and came to the aid of the city. To show their gratitude, the townspeople promised to build a church in his honour, and to hold annual festivities. In Alcoi this spectacle is declared an International Tourist Interest.
During the 22nd, 23rd y 24th of April, Alcoi is a euphoric explosion of joy, and the city is adorned with thousands of white flags with St. George's cross on and just as many green pennants with the crescent moon of Islam.
La Diana (a military call to wake up the inhabitants), processions, and Entradas (entrance processions) all follow on, setting the scene for the taking of the castle by the Moors and the recapturing by the Christians.
The constant beating of the kettledrums, the trumpets, the mass firing of the arcabuces (harquebus, a type of old-fashioned weapon like a musket) in the heat of battle, the smell of gunpowder, the smoke... It's impressive!
The two entrance parades or Entradastake place on the first day, the Christian troops in the morning and the Moors in the afternoon. The lavish colours of the costumes, the music, the Baroque style of the banners, and the twirls and turns made by los cabos de escuadras (the sergeants of each army division) fill the watching crowds with an air of unreality.
The second day is the 23rd, and is the feast day of St. George. This is a day when the religious aspects are remembered, in the chapel, with the procession of the relic, and in the figure of San Jordiet, a boy who is younger than eight dressed as a Roman soldier.
The 24th is el Dia del Alardo(the day of the battle), and the skirmishes with blunderbusses and harquebusiers firearms begin. The Christians wearing armour and the Moors in their cloaks begin to fight a battle that every year, since 1276, ends in victory for the Christians. Then, when peace reigns, San Jordiet appears on the battlements of the castle to the cheering of the public, officially ending the festivities until next year.
- Type: Interés turístico internacional
- Start date: 21/04/2016
- End date: 24/04/2016
- Cuando las fiestas coinciden con la Semana Santa se atrasan una semana