Fiestas – Moors and Christians Fiesta
BENIDORM´S MOORS AND CHRISTIANS FIESTA 2018
3rd OCTOBER TO 7th OCTOBER
Streets decked out like the Middle Ages, magnificent processions, exciting mock battles…This is the festival of Moors and Christians: days filled with magic, legend and spectacle. this festival recreates the historic clash between two cultures.
The festival of Moors and Christians is a very old tradition that dates back to the 16th century. It commemorates the confrontation that took place between Moorish and Christian soldiers in the 13th century over the rule of Spain. The events are held in honour of the city’s patron saint who also played a decisive role in the battle. Thanks to the saint’s sudden and unexpected intervention, victory went to the Christians in spite of their being outnumbered by the Moors.
The attraction, grandeur and popular nature of these festivities have caused them to spread to many parts of Spain, although they are especially popular in Valencia and Alicante . There are many variations on these festivities, as each place has its own history and unique elements that set it apart from the rest.
The start of the festivities is truly spectacular and well worth seeing: the arrival of both armies in the city. Beginning in the early hours of the morning, the streets, balconies and windows fill with people intent on not missing a single thing. To the accompaniment of music and with all the pomp and majesty you could hope for, the various groups that make up the Moorish and Christian factions march in procession, desperately trying to outshine each others sumptuous costumes. It tends to be one of the most popular and impressive events and in certain cases.
Another part of the festivities are the religious ceremonies held in honour of the city’s patron saint.
The spectacular final battle. It follows the so-called “embajadas” (meeting of envoys) in which each side reads a text in an attempt to persuade the other side to surrender. Once negotiations have failed, a mock battle ensues in which thousands of kilos of gunpowder is used, ending in victory for the Christians.
The final battle also marks the end of the festival.
THE NORMAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
WEDNESDAY 3rd of OCTOBER
At 23:00 h. INFORMAL PARADE (“ENTRAETA DE FILAES”).
Itinerary: Paseo Colón, Paseo de la Carretera, Martínez Alejos and Gambo street to finish at the
THURSDAY 4th of OCTOBER
22:00h Gathering of the Christian troops at Playa de Levante, near Valencia street and of the Moor troops at Torrejo square. The Moors will go to the Christian camp and there will be battle between the two parties.
FRIDAY 5th of OCTOBER
10:30 h. REVEILLE (“DIANA”). Starting at Paseo Colón (harbour)
ITINERARY: Paseo Colón, Paseo de la Carretera, Martínez Alejos and Gambo street to finish at the Castle.
At 19:00h at the Castle (Gambo street).
BATTLE AND CHRISTIAN EMBASSY. The Ambassador and the King of the Christians will urge the Moor Troops to leave the Castle, but the Moorish Queens will not accept, so the war will be declared, with the “ALARDO” (boasting with pop guns), that will take place in the surrounding streets, and will finish with the RECONQUEST of the Castle by the Christian troops.
SATURDAY 6th of OCTOBER
10:30 h. REVEILLE (“DIANA”).
ITINERARY: Plaza Neptuno, Av. Almendros, Paseo de la Carretera, Martínez Alejos and Gambo street, to finish at the Castle.
At 20:00 h. SPECTACULAR PARADE OF MOORS AND CHRISTIANS (ENTRADA), starting at Tomás Ortuño/ Ondulada street, around the main streets of our town.
ITINERARY: Tomás Ortuño, Venus, Ruzafa, Martínez Alejos, Gambo and Hispanidad Square to finish at Av. Bilbao.
SUNDAY 7th of OCTOBER
At 12:00 h. THE PARLEY, at Gambo street, near the Castle, between the Prince of Kairuán and the Governor of the Castle so, once it is finished, the Tunisian Prince and his troops will leave.
Around 12:30 h. GREAT FLOWER OFFERING TO SAINT JAMES, at San Jaime Church.
ITINERARY: Gambo, Martínez Alejos, Paseo de la Carretera, Santa Faz, Mal Pas and Plaza de San Jaime.
At 20:00 h. FLOATS PARADE (RETRETA FESTERA).
ITINERARY: Tomás Ortuño, Venus, Ruzafa, Martínez Alejos,Gambo and Plaza de laHispanidad.
NOTE: The mentioned timetables are established as starting hours, and
they could be changed by the Association, if it is necessary.