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Moors and Christians Fiesta - Bocairent in February
30 January 2019 @ 14:10

During the first week in February, Bocairent, in the province of Valencia, celebrates its Moors and Christians festivity in honour of Saint Blas, patron of the town. This particular Moors and Christians fiesta is one of the oldest and best in Spain. Fireworks, pasodoble music and bands, spectacular parades, processions and the deafening sound of gunpowder are the main ingredients of this colourful six-day fiesta. The highlight is the Entrà when over 2,000 people participate in an amazing parade of floats.



If you are in the area it really is a must! This deep-rooted tradition full of colour and popular culture makes it the town’s most attractive celebrations. You will be struck by the range and splendour of the traditional costumes, the music, and the gunpowder. Here is a summary of the programme:



With the “Night of the Drums” (“Nit de
les Caixes”) the actual fiestas begin: hundreds of Bocairentines cloaked in their traditional woollen blankets take to the streets carrying Chinese lanterns and beating their drums, announcing the town’s patronage of Saint Blai since 1632.

The “Entrance” (“Entrada”) of Mores and Christians on 2nd February brings the fiesta to life. First to enter are the Christians who parade to cheerful sounding 
pasodobles and once night-time falls the Mores enter to the slow and emotive tunes of Moorish marches.

One of the most emblematic events of the fiesta is the procession on the day of Saint Blai; the entrance in to the Town Hall Square of the saint, his relics and the banner of Saint Blai is particularly stirring, with the bells tolling and everyone shouting in unison: “Vitol al Patró San Blai” (“Long live Saint Blai”), as the lights go out and a shower of confetti rains down on the statue of the saint.

“The Embassies” (“Les Ambaixades”) on the 4th of February are the representation of when the negotiations for the conquest of the castle between Mores and Christians are acted out. The enormous quantity of gunpowder fired off into the air along the town’s main streets marks this day out as a special one.

The day of the Holy Christ (Santo Cristo) is also noteworthy due to the procession up to the chapel by participants and musicians, converting the Stations of the Cross footpath into a snaking line of colour.

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