Arab warriors wearing bloom trousers, pointed boots,turbans and waving their arcuate swards, tribe people painted in the various colors and furred creatures marched on 24th of July through the streets of 6 Spanish towns. No. This was not the doomsday but a traditional annual carnival during the festival Moros I Cristianos.
The history of this festival dates back to the 16th century and commemorates the confrontation that took place between Moorish ( Muslim) and Christian soldiers during the period between 8th and 15 century known as Reconquista, over the rule of Spain. The festival lasts for several days and consists of concerts, performances and many parades. Usually the people, who participate in this kind of events, belong to local associations called filaes or comparsas. During the festival participants impersonate Moros and Christians and the local orchestras accompany them by playing medieval music. It ends with a big battle where the Moros soldiers are defeated and grand fireworks are celebrating the victory of Christians.
The festival is celebrated all around Spainbut most of all in the southern Valencian community. By the lucky coincidence, for the big final parade we found ourselves in the small town of Valencian community - Javea. During the day nothing revealed that the in the evening there is going to be a great feast. Only some festival volunteers were rushing back and forth on the street placing the chairs along the road while all citizens and tourist enjoyed their day on the sunny beach or at the table in a shadow of one of the coastal cafes and restaurants.
The small city Javea can be visibly divided in three parts: city center, port and the beach. The historic part of the city is notable for its narrow and curvy cobbled streets, colorful squat buildings and ancient churches. Although, during the July’s summer day it was absolutely empty it was still really pleasant just to wander around for a while and enjoy the atmosphere of the city.
The beach of Javea – that was the liveliest place in the city during the day. Some people were lying on the beach, others were doing various watersports that are offered on the beach and others were enjoying their meal in the nice cafes, bars and restaurants that lined up along the small beach promenade. Here the first performances and flamenco show started on July 24th opening the last day of the Moros I Cristianos festival.
In many Spanish cities ports have become the places of the touristic attractions with lots of shops and touristic attractions but not in Javea, where it Is still remaining its primary functions and from here the fisherman yachts and ships set off in the sea. The picturesque pier ends with a green lighthouse in the sea. Here, not far away from the Port , was the place where the main even of the festival - parade - had started.
First, the local orchestra troupes made a circle playing the same tune that signalized the beginning of the festival. Then at 20.00 the parade began and straight roads of costumed moros started to march accompanied by orchestra’s Arabic tunes. The crowed was cheering every new row of the performers, enthusiastically waving and clapping their hands.
The party spirit didn’t leave the city until the late night.