ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

St George's Day - A Spanish Festival

Updated on November 18, 2013

Spanish Festival - A wow of a journey

I'm embarrassed to admit, I've lived in the province of Alicante, Spain for a number of years, yet never been to the celebrated Alcoy Spanish festival before, and certainly never seen anything on such a scale.

The journey to Alcoy is breath taking. If you're in the area and have time to spare, take a trip from Jalón via Castell de Castells.

In a land of spectacular beauty, I had no idea how particularly splendid the journey would be. Every bend we took brought something new. It blew my mind. However, it wasn’t the scenery we’d come for; it was the performance - the Spanish festival of the Moors and Christians (Moros y Cristianos)

Spanish Festival - It's Fiesta time

The Spanish festival of the Moors and Christians celebrates the battles between Muslims and Christians during the period known as the Reconquista, from the 8th century right through to the 15th, when the Christians managed to regain Spain for themselves. It is one of those inspirational stories. Mock battles are fought, representing the capture of the city and it’s subsequent re-conquest by the Christians.

The word Moors derives from the Latin, mauri, a name they gave to the Berber tribes living in Roman Mauretania which is now the modern day Algeria and Morocco.

Moors and Christians is a ubiquitous fiesta found in numerous towns and cities throughout Spanish and celebrated on differing dates, so if you miss one, you'll invariably catch another. The festival acts out the skirmishes between the Arabs and the Christians.

Arguably the finest place to see this fiesta is Alcoy, which is why we were there.

Spanish Festival - in Alcoy

In Alcoy, armies parade all day to the sound of strident marching bands. Soldiers representing Marrakech, Mudéjares, Abencerrajes and Benimerines are prepared for war. A group of Andalusia robber barons can be seen, as well as Basque soldiers, an army from Asturias, and a group of loyal Valencian peasants brandishing farm tools.

People along the streets urge the warriors, soldiers march, and horsemen show off their skills. All day long, they parade through the city. The atmosphere is celebratory as Alcoy prepares her armies for war.

A couple of days later, the city overflows with the snarl of conflict as smoke from gunpowder wreaths the city. The Moors and Christians battle the whole day; the Christians are defeated in the morning and the Moorish flag can be seen on the ramparts.

Forget all about Political Correctness here m’lord. Forget modern ideas about not offending or hurting feelings. Spanish have no problem with PC. Prejudice rules - Okay!

Spanish Festival - and St George

The Fiesta is held at different times of the year in different towns, but Alcoy is the most famous. Legend has it St. George appeared there to the Moors and thoroughly frightened them. The tide turned and the Moors retreated. If you thought St George was exclusive to the English with his jolly old dragon – think again. Good old St. George appears all over the world, but as far as the Spanish are concerned, St George Day belongs to them.

St. George was a cavalryman, beheaded for upholding his Christian beliefs in 303 A.D.

St. George was born to a Christian noble family in what is now present day Turkey. His mother was Palestinian. The various legends surrounding him are shared with England, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Moscow, Istanbul, Beirut Lithuania, Portugal, and Palestine.

St. George Day is an important date in Estonia, and there is a strong East Slavic tradition of St. George Day celebrations. Germanic people have a legend of St. George on horseback herding wolves, whilst some old Russian traditions appeal to St. George to guard their cattle.

Spanish Festival - A procession of 5000 people

On 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, April, Alcoy is decked out to celebrate what has become a Major spectacle. On the first day of this spectacular Spanish festival - the day we went, there was a stunning procession of Moors and Christians. Different groups making up each army marched majestically through the streets. They were decked out in luxurious costumes - warriors, their women, handmaids, children, even babies in costume. What an event - like something from a Kindle Romance.

Spanish Festival - No trouble

Wow! If I'd have faced such fierce looking warriors I think I'd have turned tail. A massive 5000 people took part in the parade, whilst the streets were packed-jam-full with spectators. Yet, there was no trouble, no violence, just people of all nationalities out for a day of pleasure.

Spanish Festival - The price of food

The only thing to mar the day was the price of food. Jeeeez! At first I fancied cooked salmon. I changed my mind - it cost THREE times what we'd normally expect. What a rip-off. My advice to anyone going to this particular Spanish festival is - eat somewhere out of the city, or at least delve deep into the backsteets. The price of the stuff spoiled what was otherwise a pretty incredible experience.

Spanish Festival - Long live prejudice

Overall though, I loved it.

It brought to mind those daft minority of English Politically Correct folk who for some misguided reason want to actually suppress Christmas. They want to turn Christmas into a multi-religious event. Multi-religious - it's to celebrate the birth of Christ, for crying out loud - and what's all this about not sending Christmas cards - or not wearing a Crucifix in case you offend other religions? What about the silent majority being offended? What about MY feelings?

Balderdash - What the heck are these silly Politically Correct people on? They should take a leaf out of the Spanish book. Traditions are what keep society sane. Traditions are enjoyable. If it means saving our traditions, then long live prejudice! Long live St George.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)