The Moors & Christians Festivities in honour of the Virgen de la Salud

The Moors & Christians Festivities in honour of the Virgen de la Salud

This patron saint feast day and ensuing fiestas have been held in the town since the 18th century and generation after generation they have finally reached our times. They begin on 22nd April of each year, with the heat of the bonfires in all the streets, chops being roasted in the embers and rockets, called borratxos (drunks), fusing into the night, a night that acts as a prelude to the never-ending festive events; to be especially highlighted is the 23rd April, Día de la Mare de Déu de la Salut (the Day of the Mother of God de la Salut), the Patron Saint of Onil, long awaited for by the whole population who deck out the streets with intense devotion and the purest of sentiments. All this emotion in order to receive her, pay her homage, carry out the Welcoming Procession and the corresponding floral Offering in her honour, commemorating her miraculous intervention against the plague that struck the town in 1648.

This immediately gives way to the following days at the end of April, where the Popular Dances in the Plaza Mayor, from 24th to 27th April, the apparition in the Les Mucarasses dances of some amusing centenary carnival characters who fill the streets of the town with a great hullabaloo, the nocturnal celebrations of the Retretas, Correfocs (a traditional event where the public runs into the fire thrown out by devils) and the Bou de foc, the entertaining evening of the Nit de l’Olleta and the fireworks displays all come together as an explosion of friendship, joy and good cheer and fun at the service of the fiesta goers, colivencs and visitors. On the 28th April, the DÍA DE LA ENTRADA (ENTRANCE DAY), the fiesta shows itself in all its splendour, the Christian an Moor armies parade in their best attire as an explosion of colour, music, fiesta and a display of the costumes mainly conceived and made by the people of Onil. Christians, Vizcayans and Students (on the Christian side) and Moors, Moroccans and Moorish Artists (on the side of the Moors) are the groups that, during these April days, offer the work, good cheer, excitement and their festive know-how which is captured in our fiestas and which is passed on to the visitor in general.

On the following days of the 29th and 30th April and 1st May, the reveilles, misa de les filaes (special mass service), the guerrilla harquebusier gunshots, the traditional Ballá de les Banderes (Flag Dance), the parades and revelry surrounding the event of the EMBASSY, which is very much worthy of contemplation, with some of the oldest primitive texts of Spanish Levant, in which, through the speeches of the Moorish and Christian Ambassador, the dispute over the Castle-Fortress and the rule over the Villa de Onil are represented during these days.

Finally on the first of May, the Solemn Farewell Procession of the Patron Saint with her return to her shrine together with the spectacular Fireworks Display provide the final culmination of the Fiestas de Moros y Cristianos de Onil (Onil Moors and Christians Fiestas) in honour of the Virgen de la Salud.

Onil greets you, and waits for you with open arms with the fiesta and the pleasant character of its people, so as to receive you and invite you to enjoy our patron saint feast days in the month of April.

  • Details:
  • Town: Onil
  • Start date: 22/04/2016
  • End date: 01/05/2016

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