Monday night was the second of the two parades which celebrated the annual Moors & Christians in the town, the highlight of Altea's fiesta calendar. This fiesta is celebrated in many Spanish towns and cities – but particularly across the Costa Blanca and commemorates the battles, combats and fights between Moors (or Muslims) and Christians during the period known as "Reconquista" - the time from the 8th century through to the 15th century.
The festivals represent the capture of the city by the Moors and the subsequent Christian conquest. Spectators lined the entire route, standing shoulder to shoulder, cheering and clapping as the procession passed by. The costumes are stunning – after the carnival in Rio this must definitely come a close second for elaborate and eye catching outfits and many camera flashes were going off throughout the evening.
Fundraising events are held throughout the year to raise money to go towards the hire of the costumes for each penya- which can mount to hundreds for each one.During the procession every penya will be followed by a band, which is why most Spanish children learn to play a musical instrument from a young age.
Each year one of the penyas is chosen to represent the Moor King and another the Christian King – it is an honour and privilege. It works on a cycle so that every penya gets the opportunity – however, this privilege comes at a price!
Hot on the back of Altea’s parades, Benidorm will also be celebrating from Thursday, September 28 until Sunday October 1 -this year marking the towns 28th successive one.
The spectacular parade will be taking place this Saturday September 30, starting at 8pm.
One of the best places to watch from will be on the Calle Gambo – the wide pedestrianised street at the top end of the Avd Mediterraneo… but get there early if you want front line position and don´t forget your camera.