Moors and christians festivities in honour of San Jorge Mártir

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The festivity in Banyeres de Mariola is declared to be of National Tourist Interest. It also commemorates the victory of the Christians, thanks to the intercession to the patron saint of the town. The festivity starts on the 22nd of April with the offering of flowers to St. George. It is the day of the Entradas (entrance parades), when the ten filaes, or army divisions, five Christian and five Moor, march in parade accompanied by huge pomp and majesty. The next day is St. George’s day and the townspeople are awoken at dawn by la diana (a military call to wake up the inhabitants). El Concurso de Cabos y Escuadras (the contest of sergeants with their army divisions), takes place in the main square, which never fails to delight the watching crowd. High Mass is heard at midday and in the afternoon the younger participants in the festivities are the protagonists in the volteta infantil. The main act of the day is the procession of St. George in which large numbers of townspeople and festeros (participants in the festivities) walk along the streets of the town accompanying their patron saint. The 24th is the day of the Moros y Cristianos when la Embajada Mora (envoy of the Moors) is followed by an assault on the castle by the Moorish troops. Later on the victorious Christians manage to win back the castle located in the centre of the town. La figura de la Mahoma (a Mohammedan figure) is important in Banyeres de Mariola; it is a gigantic figure which represents the Moorish troops and it presides over the Christian envoy from the castle tower. The 25th of April, the day of the Santo Cristo (Holy Christ), is a very moving one for the inhabitants, who go to the cemetery firing their arcabuces. There an open-air Mass is said, to remember loved ones now gone. This is followed by the conversion of the Moor to Christianity or despojo, the proclamation of captains for the following year and finally el Baile de Banderas.

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National tourist interest