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MOORS AND CHRISTIANS – the most important fiestas in Guardamar del Segura

The Moors and Christian festivities are common in Spain and have been celebrated over the last three centuries! They depict the battles that went on between moors and Christians over the centuries, the 8th to the 15th, in their struggles to conquer Spain by the first group, and to keep the invader out of their borders, the second group. That period of Spain’s history has been called the Reconquest.

Guardamar’s most important ‘fiestas’ are the ‘Moros y Cristians’ or Moors and Christians in Honour of Saint James, declared a Regional Valencian Heritage Tourist Interest Festivity. They are held in the second half of July.

They begin with the ‘Enchanted Lady’s Legend’ and that year’s young ‘Dama de Guardamar’ (Lady of Guardamar) is proclaimed and crowned. The staging of the legend is an ancient story of a young maiden who, after an evil spell, can only be released by the arms of a brave warrior who must bathe the feet of the young lady in the waters of the River Segura. His battles against the evil forces are staged.

Another act of great interest, which recalls a historical passage, is the representation of the Pact of Tudmir. The signing of the treaty is staged by which, on April 5, 713, the Visigoth nobleman Teodomir ceded to the Muslims of Abd-al Azid ibn Muzá the territories where Guardamar is located.

The ‘embassies’ and ‘parades‘ during the Moors and Christians week are undoubtedly the most spectacular moments of these festivals. They are based in the memory of the Christian Conquest of Guardamar by the Catalans during the Middle Ages. At night dancing is held in the Popular Barracks and in the ‘Cuartelillos‘ or Moor and Christians clubs.

On July 25 the solemn procession takes place in honour of our patron saint, Saint James, accompanied by Authorities, Festival Commission, Lady of Guardamar, followers, Captains, Associations and people who take part in the ‘festa’ in general.

There are also fire festivals and the castle fireworks from the sea. Powder and music are an important part of this event, which is quite common all over the Valencian Region.

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