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The Festival of Moros y Cristianos

The annual Festival of Moros y Cristianos in Alcoy, Spain, commemorates the struggle between the Christians and the Moors in the 15th century. Different groups dressed a Moors and Christians participate in elaborate processions for two days and re-enact a battle on the third day. The overtones of genocide seem a bit strange to Americans, and Mike Powell brought it up.   

Our Valencian friends were surprised by my concerns, and assured me that Moros y Cristianos is a positive event, honoring a shared history; that there’s no rancor or gloating sentiment behind the processions. And now that I’ve attended Alcoy’s festival, I suppose they’re right. There wasn’t any real difference between the groups dressed as Moors and those as Christians; both wear flamboyant costumes, both smile and wave at the crowd, and both are cheered equally. It’s just another excuse to get dressed up and have a party.

And what a party! Besides parading and fighting, there was music, dancing, confetti, and drinking. You can see the Moros y Cristianos festival in video and many pictures at For 91 Days.

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