Let battle commence is a Moors and Christians festival in Altea to commemorate the Moors 500-year rule over much of the country until they were overthrown in the 15th century. Although it is a very religious festival, it is also very theatrical and representative of the history of invasion and Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula for hundreds of years.
Silver swords slice through the night sky as hundreds of revelers clash in running battles through the streets of Altea. Accompanied by marching bands, gunpowder and explosive fireworks, Altea recreates the moment when the Christians reclaimed the land and banished the Moors.
Moors and Christians is one of the most important festivals in Altea with hundreds of participants and even more spectators. It’s one of the top events in the tourism calendar with visitors enjoying the colorful parades, battles, fireworks, food and plenty of fun.
The townsfolk are divided into different groups, who are either Moors or Christians, and enact running battles complete with gunpowder through the historic old town and along the beach.
It’s an exciting time to be in Altea to see history being acted out in such a vivid and dramatic way.
Firework displays, music and fun rush through the white town in the fourth weekend in September for the annual fiestas.
You’ll witness parades and battles showing how the Moors took control of the town before the Reconquest when the Christians battled victoriously for the honor of Altea.
On the Friday, the festival kicks off with a peal of bells and cannon fire before the parade of town bands. The battles commence on the Saturday including a spectacular parade while Sunday there is a mass in honor of Santisimo Cristo de Saguaro. Further battles are held on the Monday when the Moors surrender. An army marches on its stomach and you can rest assured that there will be plenty of food and drink on offer throughout the long weekend.
The Moors ruled this eastern area of Spain for about 500 years and their influence is still seen today. During their reign until the 13th century they introduced rice, saffron, citrus fruits, spices such as cinnamon, irrigation and farming systems for vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards, as well as distinctive architectural designs.
Streets decked out like the Middle Ages, magnificent processions, exciting mock battles…This is the festival of Moors and Christians: days filled with magic, legend and spectacle. For over four centuries, this festival has recreated the historic clash between two cultures. Come and enjoy this unique festival in which thousands of people take part year after year, all trying to outshine each other in splendor and brilliance.
ALTEA MOORS AND CHRISTIANS 2019 HIGHLIGHTS AND PROGRAM
The Moors and Christians will be marching in Altea from 20th to the 24th September 2019. Here are the highlights of the festival:
Friday 20th September
13:00 Official announcement of the fiesta with ringing of the church bells and the firing of rockets.
18:00 Spectacular Entra de la Murta Parade Route: Aparcamiento Facultad, C/ Benidorm, Avda. de la Nucía, Pl. La Creu, Pont de Moncau, Avda. Jaume I, and Pl. dels Sports.
20:00 Parade of the Music Bands from the Plaça de la Creu to the Pont de Moncau then onto the Plaça Jose Mª Planelles.
21:00 Presentation of the flags, followed by the pasodoble Ida y Vuelta.
22:00 Inauguration of the barracas for partying in the Cami de l'Algar car park.
24:00 Entrance Parade of the Moors and Christians starting from the Avenida La Nucía along Plaça de La Creu, Pont de Moncau, Avda. Jaume I, finishing at C/ Garganes.
Saturday 21st September
08:30 Diana by theMoors, early morning parade of the Moors along Av. la Nucía, Av. València, Llavador, La Séquia, C/ Pont de Moncau, Av. Jaume I, C/ Garganes, Passeig Mediterrani, C/ Gabriel Miró finishing in Pl. José Mª Planelles.
13:00 Embassy of the Moors in the Plaça de l´Esglèsia.
20:00 Spectacular Entrance Parade of the Christians along C/ Filarmónica, C/ Pont de Moncau, Av. Jaume I, C/ A Llargues, finishing at the Plaça dels Esports.
Sunday 22nd September
14:00 Spectacular Mascleta (day time rockets and firecrackers) from the Parking del Paseo Mediterráneo.
20:00 Solemn Procession in honour of Stmo. Cristo del Sagrario and San Blas along the usual route.
00:30 Grand Firework display.
Monday 23rd September
08:30 Diana by the Christians, early morning parade of the Christians along Costera dels Matxos, C/ Portal Vell, C/ Sol, C/ Alacant, C/ l'Empedrat, C/ La Mar, Passeig Sant Pere, Passeig Mediterrani, C/ Gabriel Miró finishing at Plaça José Mª Planelles.
13:15 Christian Embassy in the Plaça de l´Esglèsia.
20:30 Spectacular Entrance Parade of the Moors along: C/ Filarmónica, C/ Pont de Moncau, Av. Jaume I, C/ A Llargues, finishing at Plaça dels Esports.
Tuesday 24th September
16:30 Parade of the Collection of the Flags along Calle Llavador, Avenida Comunitat Valenciana, Calle Generalitat Valenciana, Calle Garganes, Avenida Jauma I, Pont de Moncau to the Sede de la Associació de Moros i Cristians Sant Blai in Casal Fester, where the fiesta hymn and the pasodoble Ida y Vuelta are played.
Download Full Program in Spanish
Below is a video clip of the festival in 2017.
If you are planning to visit Altea to see this Altea festival Holiday Altea has some beautiful apartments for rent in Altea.