Swords drawn over Guinness designation for Villena festival

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Flickr, Héctor Rodríguez

Question: What turns a procession into a sword-dance?
Answer: The Guinness Book of Records

THE publication intended to include Villena’s Moors and Christians night parade, in which 14,000 people take part, in the section for Multitudinous Dances and Sword Dances.

After the fiesta’s organisers objected to the Guinness officials’ proposal and insisted that it should be entered as a parade, negotiations between both have faltered.

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Guinness considers that this description applies exclusively to military parades and processions, explained Antonio Navajas.

“They want to give Villena the record for the most-participated sword dance, something we strongly object to,” Navajas said. “We are currently holding talks to find a solution.”

Last September’s Cabalgata was filmed from start to finish, then authenticated for the Book of Records.

“Sword dance?” asked a mystified Villena resident. “They wear swords, I’ll grant you, but where does dancing come into it?”

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