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Festivities | History
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The history of the moor and christian festivity in Alcoy

At present it is accepted that the Moor and Christian Festivity has a three-day structure assigned and established, but it is generally unknown which has been the evolution of a festivity, which had its origin in a commemoration strictly religious.

The tradition shows April 23rd 1276 as the `alcoyanos´, for his miraculous participation, according to our ancestors, in defence of Alcoy from the Al-Azraq Moslem attack.

There was soon a chapel dedicated to the Saint, from which is proved shortly after 1300 – in fact there are documents from 1317-, for a perpetual promise of honouring him in his festivity was made.


So, the present-day three-day structure, dedicated the first day to the `Entradas´, the second to the religious festivity and the third to the `Alardo´, culminated with the `San Jorge´ Apparition, April 23rd begins to gestate taking `San Jorge´ festivity as the centre.

At first the documents are only about a religious festivity and so, in 1412 there is some information about the payments made for the celebration of the religious festivity. It won´t be until the beginning of the XVl century when the Town Council decides to give more importance to the celebration, including profane acts. From this point of view, in 1552 an arquebusier competition of the `alcoyana´ militia is organized that eventually and the logical changes will start the `Alardo´, that at present belongs to the our Festivity third-day celebrations.

In 1672, Vicente Carbonell speaks about two companies in his play `Célebre Centuria´: one of them about Christian Moors and the other one about Catholic Christians, with what we will have the actual division of the moor side and the christian side.

With Philippe V´s triumph in the Succession War, Alcoy city, having been in favour of the Archduke Charles, was treated as an enemy city, and it won´t celebrate its Festivity again until 1741. From this year itself we have some information from the so-called Father Picher´s Short Chronicle, in which it is said that the Saint´s eve, that is on 22nd April, there was a bright military captain and official parade; after the years this parade gave rise to the Christian and moor `entradas´. It is also referred to the same year 1741 and according to Father Picher, for the next day of the Saint, that is on 24th, an artificial castle called `Aduar of the Puche´ was set up and in the morning, after an embassy, the moors took the castle, but in the evening also with an ambassador, the Christians surrendered the castle by the strength of the weapons

As you can see, it belongs to the present structure of the `Alardo´ day, although `San Jorge´ apparition over the castle´s battlements remain to be complete. Thus, in 1743, always according to F. Picher, the apparition of the Saint over the walls of the town was arranged.

Therefore, it is in the middle of the XVlll century when the elements that shape, with the logical evolution of over 250 years, the actual structure of the Moor and Christian Festivities in Alcoy, are determined. Shortly after, at the end of the XVlll century, the `Filaes´ appear, some of them have lasted up to now.

Practically at the beginning of the XX century thirteen moor `filaes´ stay already structured, completing with a fourteenth `filà´ in the last quarter of this century. The Christian side, although there are some of the initial `filaes´, has had many more changes and the fourteen present `filaes´ won´t be established until the 1960s of the past century.



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