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The Batalla de Moros i Cristians

These are the days of the Battle between the Moors and the Christians.

Sant Elm (see photo above), for instance, celebrated the Batalla de Moros i Cristians last Friday, July 30th. And Pollença is in the middle of celebrating the Festa de la Mare de Déu dels Àngels, culminating today in the annual battle between Joan Mas and his brave men, and Dragut, the leader of the Saracen pirates. These are two of a number of main events that are being celebrated in Mallorca under the same heading, Moros y Cristianos, but at different times of the year and commemorating different historical dates. All of them share, however, a similar reason: that of an erstwhile attack by Arab or Moorish or Saracen or Turkish pirates. Sóller and Port de Sóller, for example, celebrate the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de La Victoria, or Es Firó, in May, when Moros and Cristianos sort it out between themselves, with the Moors losing every time, just as they did on May 11th, 1561. That was the date when the Arab pirates, coming from Algiers, disembarked in Sóller, meeting fierce resistance from the local town folks of Christian denomination. Luckily, the then Viceroy in Ibiza had sent warning to the citizens of Sóller who could prepare themselves and organize their defense.

Santa Ponça commemorates a famous battle of 1582, when 150 North African pirates were defeated by only 50 Cristianos. The victory is celebrated every year on May 13th in another Festa de Moros y Cristians. And Calvià will celebrate the 1229 landing of Jaume I on September 8th.

The Pollença fiesta is distinctive. The Festa de La Patrona erupted at 05h00 this morning with a traditional Auborada. All day long, different activities and events build up to the commemoration’s high point, when at 19h00 the battle between Pollençins and Turks is reenacted on the local football ground, probably the best known of all of the Mallorcan Moors and Christians battle reenactments. The population of Pollença dresses up for the occasion in either white, for the Christians, armed with sticks and farming utensils, or in full colour and head dress for the Saracen Turks, heavily armed with scimitars. Gun barrels are impressively fired with gunpowder and live fuse. Ear shattering. Both camps are united, though, in the plentiful consumption of spirited beverages throughout the day.

Moros i Cristians reenactments are also celebrated in Alcúdia and Valldemossa, albeit at different times of the year.

The photo was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of festimatge.skamot.com. The photo was taken at the Arribada dels Moros a la Platja de Sant Elm, August 4th, 2007.

Moltes gràcies.

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