VILLAJOYOSA’S Moors and Christians Festival has been running for more than 250 years and begins this Sunday and continues until Sunday July 31.
Festivities kick-off at 9pm with a band performance through the streets starting at Cuidad de Valencia and finishing at Barbera dels Aragones where there will be a fireworks and firecracker display.
Processions will take place from Calle Colon through Avenida Pais Valencia and end at Plaza de la Generalitat; the ‘Christians’ on Monday at 9pm and the ‘Moors’ on Tuesday at 8.30pm.
Wednesday, fishermen, sailors, ‘pirates and buccaneers’, and ‘smugglers’ will meet up at 6.15pm at Plaza Barranquet to go together down Avenida Veradero to the Port to embark while the Christian troops will gather in Parque Censal by Calle Pizarro at 7pm.
On Thursday July 28 at 4.45am the ‘Christian Army’ will descend to Costera la Mar until the Christian camp after which will be a light and firework show that signal the beginning of a beach party which continues through until dawn.
At the break of dawn the alarm will sound on the beaches as the Moor’s boats sail towards the shore and a battle enactment between the Moors and Christians takes place, beginning at sea.
The final showdown battle will take place at 8pm at Centro Beach with the symbolic sending back of the Moors to the sea.
At Plaza de la Generalitat a 21 gun salute will be conducted in honour of the victory of the Christians over the Moors.
Friday focuses on the mass at noon and a solemn procession at 8pm with the patron St Marta.
She became their patron saint because she allegedly caused a storm/flash flood which wiped out Berber pirate Zale-Arraez when he tried to attack the town in 1538.
Then at 1am on Saturday will be a fireworks display at Centro Beach.
The Paella Competition is on Saturday July 30 at 1pm in Calle Constitucion and then on Sunday at 8pm there is float parade in which children participate.
By Nicole Hallett