In just under two weeks time Orihuela will once again provide the perfect setting for this traditional Spanish Fiesta as the streets of the historic quarter become immersed in colour and noise as the Moors and Christians parades and events take place in the city from Sunday 15 to Saturday 21 July.
Everything gets underway on Sunday 15th July at 19:30 with the Procession and Flower Offering in honour of the patron saints of the city (Justa and Rufina) starting at la Glorieta Gabriel Miró and finishing at the Cathedral before moving to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento where the dignitaries will be presented on the town hall balcony.
It culminates the following Friday and Saturday with the entrance parades into the city of the Christians and then the Moors but expect late nights as both parades start at 9.30 pm
This year the council and the parade committee have reached an agreement with rail company Renfe that anyone travelling to the parades on the train will qualify gor free guided tours and seats in the parade grandstand.
One such walk, which should be particularly appealing to residents of the Orihuela Costa, will take place with the main figure of the Fiestas de la Reconquista on 7 July, starting at the Roman bridge in Campoamor, ” a way for people to get directly involved in the celebrations and enjoy them with us,” said the councillor for tourism Sofía Álvarez.
The first celebration took place in Orihuela in 1974 and over the intervening years the ceremonies and the acts have become more elaborate and far more audacious.
The Fiesta de la Reconquista commemorates the battles for control of the land between the Moors and Christians as solemn parades, a number of mock battles featuring a great deal of noise and explosions and many other events take place in the city streets.
The symbol of Orihuela, the black eagle like bird, known as the ‘La Gloriosa Ensena del Oriol’ features highly in the programme, and even has its own parade!
You will be able to see a full programme of all the parades in next week’s Leader Newspaper but should you wish to find out more or book your transport to any of the parades your should contact the Tourist Information Offices in Orihuela city or on the coast, at 96 530 46 45/96 676 00 00 ext. 32, or you can visit the website at www.orihuelaturistica.es.