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Moors and Christians Festival Jávea

Between the 13th and 21st of July this year (2013), once again  Jávea stepped back in time to commemorate the clashes between the Moors and Christians in Spain. This annual festival, which is held in different towns and cities throughout the year, celebrates the “Reconquista” – the victory of Christian forces over Islamic invaders in the 15th century. Based in Jávea´s port area of Duanes Al Mar, the fiesta features fireworks, feasts, processions, music and mock-battles. We’re lucky enough to have an expert on the Moors and Christians Festival in Jávea on hand to tell us more: Drivalia´s Commercial Manager and Jávea resident, Fernando, spent the week enjoying the festivities. Who arranges the festival? The festival is arranged by the “Junta Central de Moros y Cristianos” which is the governing association and is composed by two representatives from each fila. The "Junta Central" also has its own board (President, treasurer, secretary etc) which again are members of different "Fila´s" and are re-elected every two years. What is a "fila"? Ah, sorry. A fila is a squadron or say a legion within either the Christian or Moor ‘armies’. I belong to “Fila Trabuquers” which is on the Christian side (pictured below). Javea Moors and Christians Fila Trabuquers What are the highlights of the festival? The landing of the Moor troops, the fireworks and, of course, the parades are the most exciting moments of the festival; especially the one on Sunday where the Captain shows off all his pageantry. There are also bands playing during the day, outdoor discos going til late and of course food plays a big part in any fiesta. Who makes the food? Each Moor and Christian Fila cooks and eats everyday during the fiesta in their individual headquarters. Some hire a cook but most of them love to cook themselves and enjoy making their own meals. Sharing the work, eating tapas and having a drink while you are cooking is, in my personal opinion, one of the best times to enjoy with friends. In fact I cook for at least 30 to 40 people almost every day during the fiestas. That’s me in the centre of the picture below with “my” paella. Javea Moors and Christians paella What food is there available for tourists? Jávea is one of the best places to enjoy rice dishes. Being half way between Alicante and Valencia, we have adopted the eating habits of both areas and created a new concept of the famous paella. Aladroc i Espinacs (anchovies and spinach), Floricol i Baejo (Cauliflower and Cod) and Bull amb Ceba (stomach of tuna fish and onion) are typical Jávea Paellas and difficult to find in other areas. Obviously most other Paella specialities can be also found in Jávea. Although the meals are cooked for the members of each fila everyone is invited to enter their headquarters, have a drink and an appetizer with the members and, of course, see how the different meals are being cooked. Chocolate muffins in the morning and sardines at midday are offered to everyone for free. Restaurants are of course also open and there are plenty of food stalls. What’s the best way to find out about next year’s schedule? There is a website with all the information about the festival: Unfortunately this year’s schedule has only been published in Spanish but I am aware that next year will be in different languages. What parking is available to visitors? There is a free public car park in the port area, where the festival takes place, but due to the large number of visitors that attend the event, it’s normally quite difficult to park the car there. Nevertheless there is plenty of parking between the Old Town area and the Port, and is only a 10 minute stroll. N.B. Javea is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes’ drive from Alicante Airport. Thank you Fernando. If you would like to share your own experiences of Jávea’s Moors and Christians festival we would love to hear from you either in the comments below or on Drivalia’s Facebook page.