ALCOY (Alicante) Moors and Christians Fiestas 2016, 22nd to the 24th of April.
Don't Miss: The 2016 Alcoy Moors and Christians Fiesta, one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country which is dedicated to the towns patron saint San Jorge (Saint George) The festival commemorates an ancient battle fought and won by Alcoy's Christian townsfolk against Muslim attackers.
Back in the 13th century, standing on the border between Christian and Muslim held Spanish territories. Christian Alcoy was regularly subjected to enemy Muslim raids which culminated on 23 April 1276, in a ferocious attack, the troops of Al-Azraq attempted to storm the town. According to legend, due the timely appearance at a critical moment in the battle to save the town,and with the divine intervention of Saint George the good Christian townsfolk were able to repel their Muslim attackers forcing them to retreat and subjecting them to a humiliating defeat from which they were never to recover or return. In recognition of Saint Georges intervention, the townsfolk of Alcoy made him their patron saint and hold this festival annually in his honour. Every year the city is decorated in medieval style for the duration of the fiesta.
Day one, kicks off with an enormous and truly spectacular procession of the Moors and Christians: each "army" process En-mass through the streets resplendent in magnificent costumes, a huge event approximately 5,000 people take part.
Day two is filled with various events which take place in honour of Saint George.
The final day, a huge mock battle is fought on Plaza de España storming a specially-built castle which represents the city. The Muslim troops attempt but fail to persuade the Christians to surrender, the ensuing siege ends with the Moors capturing the castle, then later having regrouped the Christian army returns retake the castle and force defeat on their Muslim aggressors. In the evening, the appearance of the towns patron Saint George on horseback, and shooting arrows from the top of the castle marks the end of the three days of festivities, at least until next year and nobody will mind if you take an arrow home as a souvenir.