Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) Festivities at Guardamar del Segura

Category: Spanish Culture

You would have loved to experience the Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) festivities and parades in honor of Saint James the Apostle patron of the locality I visited this week, Guardamar del Segura in the Province of Alicante, Spain. The festivities began on July 14th and ended on the 25th. I was there only the last few days, but I enjoyed every minute of my stay.

The festivities had their introduction with presentations of all the groups and individuals participating in the events as well as the women flag bearers and Ms. Guardamar pageant. There were multicolor parades, bullfighting, concerts, fireworks, and all kinds of representations and shows. An interesting and historical part of the festivities was the Medieval Market held two consecutive days depicting a marketplace of the Middle Ages. The main attractions of the festivals were the 2 enormous parades lasting almost 3 hours on Saturday and Sunday.

The Moors and Christian festivities are common in Spain and have been celebrated over the last three centuries! They depict the battles that went on between moors and Christians over the centuries, the 8th to the 15th, in their struggles to conquer Spain by the first group, and to keep the invader out of their borders, the second group. That period of Spain’s history has been called the Reconquest.

The festivities depicting the battles include skits as well as parades. In Guardamar, one of the representations consisted on the coming ashore of the Moors—Guardamar is a costal town in Costa Blanca. Another representation was a dialogue between the leaders of the Moors and the Christians. The Christians were occupying the castle and the Moors were trying to have the Christians voluntarily yield the castle to them—of course the refusal would result in a fierce and bloody battle. And as to be expected the Christians vowed not to surrender without putting up their best ever fight. There dialogue took place in a colorful stage representing a castle, with lots of the Spanish warriors and ladies dressed in their Middle Ages attire. The whole scene was very well represented and got a good ovation from the public.

All during the shows and parades, the streets of town were packed with people from all areas of Spain as well as foreign visitors on vacation–or holiday, as my British friends would say. Yes, but not only on vacation, there are many retired folks from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and other European countries who have made Guardamar their home. And those days, you could hear in the streets of the costal town in Alicante just about every language.

Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) Festivities at Guardamar del Segura ended on Tuesday the 25th the feast of Saint James with 25-minute log presentation of music and fireworks.

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