HOPPING BACK HOME FOR OUR SPANISH FIESTA

I thought today for a change I would hop back to Europe and share our local fiesta with you.

Every June for days and days the locals celebrate, not for tourists, but for themselves. They remember the 800 years domination of most of Spain by the Moors from north Africa and since 1990, the culmination at the end of weeks of all kinds of activities, is the Conquista and the Reconquista.

The first night the Moors come over the beach to conquer the castle – a little sad really as we don’t have a proper castle here, only a small lookout tower of fairly recent origin. But this doesn’t bother anyone.

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Sneakily the Moors invade at night under cover of darkness. In theory they arrive by sea, but these days they lurk behind the chiringita (beach bar) on the main strand. The performance begins at 10.30pm, almost our bedtime.

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We know the Christians are in residence, as they skitter along the sand and pop onto the rampart above the rocks just before the Moors arrive.

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The Moors then try to persuade them to give up the castle and take a hike. First they send a demanding note which is theatrically torn to pieces. Next they try the bribery tack, boxes full of gold. No takers. Then come the dancing girls, all four of them, which, if you look at the number lounging around on the battlements, would have to work very hard indeed to keep everyone satisfied. The fire dancers and eater don’t make much impression on the castle residents either. Then they set fire to the cross – sacrilege – and then skilfully cut the throat of one of the Christian women.

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Enter the horses, with battles galore and finally, in exasperation, they all take to the guns.

I don’t think I can post a video on here, but I’ll try on my FB page as the noise is truly terrifying. These are real blunderbusses, and they are filled with real gunpowder and wadding or something and they are really loud. They blast away for a while and frankly, they are lousy shots. The Moors are victorious and as the Christians march out of the castle in go the conquerors.

Eight hundred years is kaleidoscoped into twenty hours as the original inhabitants of our small town come to regain the castle. They arrive in broad daylight at 7pm, no sneaking around for them. They also try the bribery bit, with more dancing girls (I highly suspect it’s the same group from last night, so they must have changed sides earlier in the day – and I’m sure I spied the postmistress from the next village as she’s the belly dancing teacher).

The Moors are less than impressed, although the dancing was excellent. So, if the dancers failed, would the tumbling team (last seen at Benidorm Palace) succeed?

Sadly no, so after the gun-proofed horses have galloped about the beach for a bit fighting with real swords it’s back to the gunfire again and more fireworks.

A few people drop – despite the large number of guns most are really lousy shots, and the Moors give up and vacate the castle and the Christians take possession again. Mind those who have been shot lie for ages on the beach, probably tying not to breathe sand up their noses.

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The third night there is the grand parade, which includes babies in push chairs, toddlers who can just walk, to grandmothers and every age inbetween. It’s a fantastic side of Spanish culture and family. I even noticed some Moors and Christians sharing a pizza after the battle!

I was going to include the procession in this post, but will save it for next week as I now have far too many pictures to include. none of them are brilliant and I apologize. The conditions for the equipment I had were not good, and the subjects had a terrible habit of jiggling around.

If you have a spare moment (this is the grovelling bit) I’d love it if you could vote for Amie an African Adventure in the ReadFree.ly Best Indie Books of 2016 – other category – this is the link – and you can vote 3 times.   http://www.readfree.ly/vote-50-self-published-books-worth-reading-2016-other/

And one other thing. Amie an African Adventure is on at $/£0.99 till midnight tonight – Monday, there seems to be an extra day I was not expecting. This is the link.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWFIO5K

 

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33 thoughts on “HOPPING BACK HOME FOR OUR SPANISH FIESTA

  1. What a great fiesta! It sounds like enormous fun and is no doubt well lubricated with suitable vino. At least the Christian had that right. The poor old Moslems shouldn’t get any. No wonder they gave up the castle! But then old Mohamed made date wine, so why the restriction. I thought all he said was stay sober, not don’t touch the stuff.
    I like the family bit at the end too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It all sounds fascinating Lucinda.

    I always find it interesting that the Spanish, who having liberated their own country from Moorish domination, then turned around and decided to do the same to the rest of the world. Of course. Britain was of the same ilk……”must civilise the savages and convert those savages, what!” Living in The Philippines, as I do, I am acutely aware of the three hundred odd years of Spanish domination and tyranny over the Filipino people. Of course, for the poor Filipino’s, no sooner did they liberate themselves from Spain in 1898, the U.S. moved in and decided they wanted the “Pearl of the Orient” for themselves.

    Lovely article

    Liked by 2 people

    • The war was over religion as much as domination of course and for a while they did live peacefully together as long and the Muslims converted to Christianity. Then it flared up and there was also a mass expulsion of the Jews. Sadly there seems no such thing as love and let live 😦

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      • That’s hardly surprising really. Where Islam is concerned, there’s only one way to live – their way – and they don’t accept half measures. With the rise of modern ‘fundamental’ Islam ( which bears little or no resemblance to what Mohamed originally ordained) it’s about power and domination, with submission high on the agenda. Love doesn’t come into it. They don’t see Allah as a loving god, but as something that at all costs, even your life, MUST be obeyed. It’s an absolutist doctrine.

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      • Having lived in a Muslim country for over 5 years I had nothing but respect for them and their religion, but this new version of it freaks me out as I can see women losing all the freedom they fought for for years.

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