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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Let the Battle Commence

One of my favourite days of the year... The storming of the castle.

There are two battles during the day (theoretically 600 years apart). Initially, the Moors capture the castle, and later, in the evening, the Christians capture it back.

At about 6pm, one by one, all of the filas arrive at the castle, first the moors, then the christians. They all sit down on the floor of the square, ready to cheer when appropriate. The Moor kings take the place inside the castle, an emissary from the Christians challenges the moors, and finally, the Christian kings arrive.

This year, the fila 'Pirates' were the leaders of all of the Christians. The costumes were quite stunning. King and Queen Pirates. (Totally different to the last two years.)

This year, as I listened, I was able to understand quite a lot of the Valencian speech at first, but as it got more dramatic and passionate, I no longer understood the words - not that you need to, to understand what is happening.

It was a delight this year, to know people in each camp too. I joined in the celebrations of each side, although, to be honest, I think they had both had enough 'spirits' to enjoy the day, whatever the outcome!

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