Costa del Azahar, Spain travel info

Guide to Costa del Azahar, Spain

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Spain travel facts

Spain map
Area (sq km): 504,782
Population: 40,448,191
Nationality: Spanish,
Local Name: Espana
Language: Castilian Spanish,
Time Zone: +1 GMT
Currency: 1 euro = 100 cents
Capital: Madrid
Dialling Code: +34
Electricity: 230V/50Hz
Internet Code: .es
Religion: Roman Catholic
Climate: Mediterranean,
Marine West Coast
Government: Parliamentary Monarchy
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Not Required
Banking: M-F 9.00-14.00
Major Airports: Alicante(ALC), Barcelona(BCN), Girona(GRO),
Jerez(XRY), Lanzarote(ACE), Madrid(MAD), Malaga(AGP), Mallorca(PMI), Seville(SVQ), Valencia(VLC)

Moors & Christians Festival

The Moors and Christians is one of Oliva’s most traditional fiestas, and re-enacts the battle between the followers of the cross and those of the half-moon.

Moors & Christians Festival
Moors & Christians Festival

It is celebrated every year on the third weekend of July. The previous Saturday, captains, ambassadors, flag-carriers and officers prepare with all the passion and enthusiasm of the fiesta the official presentation of their characters.

After the pregón, or the official call to the townspeople declaring the festival open, they all join together to enjoy a spicy, succulent puchero – a traditional type of stew – to mark the beginning of the ceremony. Actors and spectators, old and young, participate in the parade to the typical background charanga music characteristic of Valencian fiestas.

The most-awaited act is the Entradas, or presentations, of the Moors and the Christians. Watching them parade with their collectives in their elegant costumes offers a colourful show of splendid dances, valiant fights, fantastic representations, artistic equestrianism and horse-drawn carriages.

After a long night of fun and excitement, many head straight to the beach without going to bed first to watch the magnificent Desembarco (‘disembarking’). This spectacle involves the arrival on dry land of the Moorish embassy, followed by a splendid sunrise that slowly gives colour and light to the whole show. The Christian embassy remains on the alert on the shore, then a great battle of bows-and-arrows and spectacular fireworks takes place, with the Moors finally defeated. But this victory does not last for long…

Sunday is Día de la Hermandad, or ‘day of the brotherhood’, in the morning where the various parades visit each other’s ‘headquarters’ accompanied by their respective musical bands. In the evening you can watch the Reconquering of the Castle on behalf of the Christian troops. Again, the two sides enter in furious combat, letting off arrows and cannons, meeting head-on until the Christian kingdom succeeds in occupying the castle. A spectacular firework display concludes the festival.

Many thanks to Member Iain Mungall for submitting this article. Please check out Iain's House for Rent in Oliva.

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