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Moros y Cristianos

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Parade of a Christian filÓ of Moros y Cristianos festival in Alcoy.
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Parade of a Moor filÓ of Moros y Cristianos festival in Ibi.
For other uses, see Moros y cristianos (disambiguation).

Moros y Cristianos (in Spanish) or Moros i Cristians (in Valencian), literally means "Moors and Christians", and is a set of festival activities which are celebrated in many towns and cities of Spain, principally in the autonomous community of Valencia, to commemorate the battles, combats and fights between Moors (or Muslims) and Christians during the period known as Reconquista (from the 8th century through the 15th century).

The festivals represent the capture of the city by the Moors and the subsequent Christian reconquest. The people that take part in the festival are usually enlisted in filaes or comparsas (companies that represent the Christian or Moor legions) and, for several days, they parade with costumes inspired in Medieval fashion: Christians wear furs, metallic helmets, armors, ride horses and shoot with loud arquebuses; in contrast, Moors wear ancient Arab costumes, scimitars and ride real camels or elephants. The festival develops among shots of gunpowder, medieval music and fireworks, and ends with a simulated battle around a castle that the Christians win.

The most well-known Moros y Cristianos festival is the one which is celebrated in Alcoy, around San Jorge (Saint George) day, in April. As the legend is told, when James I of Aragon reconquered the city of Alicante, the Moors got quite angry and tried to recover it some years after. But, when they were about to start the battle again, Saint George miraculously appeared to the Moors, who ran away with scare.

Other remarkable Moros y Cristianos festivals are celebrated in the towns of Biar, Cocentaina, Crevillente, Elda, Muro de Alcoy, Onteniente, Orihuela, Petrer, Villena and some districts of Alicante city. The most ancient festival is celebrated in Caudete (Albacete), dated from 1588.

External Links

ca:Moros i Cristians es:Moros y cristianos

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