Moors and Christians

Mojácar has its roots, which are still palpable, in a rich and varied cultural legacy which will forever mark the physical appearance of its people and the character of its inhabitants. At the beginning of the 8th century, the South-east peninsular was one of the areas subject to the invasion of the Arab armies and the start of the big Moslem era.

In 1488 the mayors of the entire area gathered to surrender to the Catholic Monarchs, with the exception of the Mayor of Mojácar. Captain Garcilaso de la Vega was therefore sent to the fountain to speak to Alabez (warden of Mojácar at that time), who explained his reasons for not surrendering. From this historical fact comes the Mojácar Moors & ChristiansFiesta.

There is no doubt but that Mojácar´s biggest fiesta, anticipated keenly all year long, is the “Moors and Christians”. The entire town, together with many adopted residents, divide themselves into various guilds, called cábilas, who will parade through the town dressed in costly eyecatching and colourful costumes as Arab or Christians soldiers and captains. This event is held to remember the peaceful and negotiated surrender of Mojácar and the surrounding villages to the Christian King at the end of the 15th century.

There were no winners or losers, and the essence of this peaceful co-existence and mutual respect between cultures and religions, between Moor, Catholic and Jew, still remains alive today in the hearts of the people of Mojácar. For this reason, they enthusiastically prepare all year long for their chance to join in the one long proccesion, combining the public with actors, musicians, horsemen, dancers, captains and retinues, and many more ingredients besides, to offer a beguiling spectacle of light, colour, noise and merriment for the crowds-like a story from the Thousand and One Nigths.