Callosa’s Battle: Moros y Cristianos

Callosa stages two battles during their Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) festival.  I met Elisa on Monday at the Corsair’s filá, where they meet, eat, and drink.

Bands and filas began a slow walk towards the staging areas toasting their oversized drinks and sucking on Chupa Chups.  The Corsairs went last.  “You’re in Spain,” laughed Elisa, “don’t worry.”

I stayed just ahead of the battle as the King fired the first shot into the air.   Unhurriedly, each group sauntered down the oldest streets meeting the Moors at the plaza in front of the old church and a small mock castle.

With intricately carved wooden rifles, they took turns shooting an array of orange flame and smoke then refilling from leather gunpowder canteens.

I wore earplugs and winced with each shot.  The air smelled strongly of gunpowder and bits of ash rained down covering everyone in grey dust.

In that 50 square yard plaza, roughly 5,200 shots were fired in 40 minutes of battle.

Silliness and satire preceded an intensely emotional interaction between the Moorish and Christian generals, the former on horseback flanked by royalty and the latter from his castle.  Onlookers teared up as the Moor’s speech went from friendly to cruel and the Christian king stood resolute but powerless.

A sword fight between opposing royalty won the castle for the Moors tonight.  Tomorrow they’d battle again with a different victor.

“You never know,” says Enrique, “the way things are going, may be one day it will be the other way around.”


About Tiffany

I'm eclectic. Sometimes that's a good thing because I can do bits of everything. Sometimes it's aggravating because I get distracted by so many amazing things. Mostly, I love photography and family, travel and writing, cooking, reading, art, and coffee. Sundays are church days to regroup and refocus. God's in charge here.

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One Response to “Callosa’s Battle: Moros y Cristianos”

  1. Lara Dunston November 10, 2010 9:28 am #

    Hi! I’m so sorry, just realised that we hadn’t visited this post! Please forgive us, we’ve had rotten internet access in recent weeks. Judging coming to final stage & judges will have their decisions in soon…

    Thanks for entering! Best of luck!

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