For the last few days, the town of Sóller has been celebrating its annual Fires i Festes. Today is the last day of festivities and the most important of all celebrations, the Festa de Firó. The Firó celebration always happens on the Monday after the second weekend in May, i. e. today. The Firó goes back to a date in history, when on May 11th, 1561, some 2,000 Moorish intruders arrived in the Port de Sóller from Algeria, with nothing but unfriendly motives and aggressive plans. Luckily, the then Viceroy in Ibiza had sent a warning to the citizens of Sóller who could prepare themselves for a possible attack and organize their defense. For the last 120 years, the town of Sóller has been celebrating the legendary battle and its favorable outcome with an annual reenactment of the historic skirmish of Moros i Cristians (Moors and Christians).
In 1561, the Sarraïns (Saracen pirates) landed on the Platja d’en Repic , pillaging and looting whatever got in their way. They soon had the upper hand, marauding houses and capturing the parish church. The pirates’ Wazir (leader) did not take long in declaring victory in the Sóller Plaça, triumphing over the local farmers. The Sollerics and their Valentes Dones (brave women), however, regrouped under the helm of Capitán Angelats, counter-attacked and finally managed to overpower the intruders. I expect it will be the same today, and everyone will be happy ever after, until next year.
The photo was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of flickr.com and @potti (José Juan ‘Potti’ Luna).
Some of the attacking Moorish move into the town centre and meet the “Valentes Dones,” the courageous women, who are now, as their men still fighting in the harbour, on their on to defend the town. They are very brave.