In the month of August the Moors and Christians festivities are celebrated in Dénia. These parties arrived here in 1980, and since then they have grown a lot both in number of participants and in filaes. So much so that in 2022 it has been recognized as a Festival of Regional Tourist Interest.
Next you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with.
History of the party in Dénia
The story goes back to the year 1980, when a group of lovers of the party formed by Luis Villó, Julián Pérez Ayuso, José Antonio Sánchez Gómez, Antonio Timoner and Pángel and Raúl Albi, spoke with the party councilor of that time, Tomás Chiner . The proposal was to do a test and introduce the festival in summer, making it coincide with the patron saint celebrations in honor of Sant Roc.
The initiative had the support of the then mayor, Luis García Cuello, and began the work of preparing the program and composing some lines. This is how the filaes were born almorávides, Amiries, Deniers and the germ of what would be the filà walies.
The presentation of this party was on August 15 of that year, 1980, with a gala parade in which there were no pageantry, no captains, or spectacular costumes. Only parties and a lot of music that encouraged the people who were in the Calle Marques de Campo.
The birth of the filaes
After the success of this test, many people were interested in taking part, and in 1981 the filà Gavilans, which would later be called Cavallers of the Me'n Fot. Over the years the program was outlined with a Moorish landing and another Christian, the delivery of the keys by the mayor on duty and the parliaments.
In 1990, after several years of presidency Manolo Ferrer, takes over as president of the Association of Moros y Cristianos (AMMICC) Julian Pérez Ayuso. Three years later, he works hand in hand with the Brotherhood of Sant Roc unso to draft statutes of unification of the party.
The incorporation of women to the party
Already in 1995, the drafting of new statutes left the door open to the participation of women, which became effective in 1997. These are the years of presidency of José Antonio Sánchez Gómez, who introduced the figure of the town crier, modified the act of the delivery of keys and moved it to the Plaza del Consell, and also incorporated the figure of the flag bearers.
La filà Almogàvers it was the first formed by women, which began in 1997, the same year that the filà was founded. Saqaliba. That is also the year of the first children's parade. In 1999 the second row of women joined the party, Alkamar.
In the year 2000, and with the incorporation of the Christian filà Mozarabs, the round figure of 10 rows is reached. Vicent Crespo rises to the presidency of the Association in 2001 and one of his first measures is the purchase of a boat to celebrate the Moorish landing. A year later, in 2002, the Christian filà Marins Corsaris was born, and the foremen of Sant Roc participated for the first time in the gala parade on August 15.
2004 is notable for the presidency of a woman for the first time. María Jesús Monfort saw how during her tenure the filaes Amazigh y Tuaregs, which would end up merging with berebers. Monfort's replacement in the presidency is taken by another woman, Amparo Mata, who introduces changes in the order of the gala parade so that the captaincies are the ones who close the parades of each side.
In 2019 he assumed the presidency of the FEMMICC (Federation of Moors and Christians of Dénia) the current president, Jaime Ferrer Santamaría.
Years in which they have been suspended
1999 stood out for being a year in which the party could not be fully celebrated. a terrible fire in the Montgo declared on August 15, it forced the decision to suspend the gala parade. After the fire is extinguished, on August 16 the program is partially resumed and the gala parade is held with the available means.
In 2020 and 2021 the party has also been suspended due to the coronavirus health crisis.
Festival of Regional Tourist Interest
After years of work between the FEMMICC and the City Council, in February 2022 Francesc Colomer, the then regional secretary of Tourism, declared the Moors and Christians of Dénia as a Festival of Regional Tourist Interest of the Valencian Community. This is a distinction that Turisme grants to festivals that offer special relevance from the tourist point of view and involve an appreciation of Valencian culture and popular traditions.
It is the first festival in Dénia that obtains the declaration as a festival of regional tourist interest in the Valencian Community. The city has a festival declared of Provincial tourist interest, the floats, in addition to the Festival of National Tourist Interest, the Bous a la Mar.
Dates and events
The big days of the Moors and Christians festivities in Dénia are from August 13 to 16. But the first weekend of the month marks the start of the celebrations with the proclamation and the handover of keys of the city by the authorities. This act takes place in the Plaza del Consell, one of the emblematic stages of the party.
In the days leading up to the festival, the captaincies gather the partiers at your receptions, and the Agrupació Artística Musical Dénia stars in the Music concert festera that offers pieces related to the celebration.
On August 13, the big days begin with the landing of the Moorish side in Denia waters. In the port they are received by the Christians and together they sign the truce before the attentive gaze of thousands of people. A truce that invites them to live together in the following days.
Learn more about the Moorish Landing of Dénia here!.
The children's parade
On August 14 the protagonists are the children, who parade in their best clothes through the city center. A children's parade which has gained in spectacularity every year.
The gala parade
The main day of the Moors and Christians celebrations is August 15, when more than 25000 people meet in the street Marqués de Campo and surroundings to enjoy the gala parade. A long-awaited appointment by the festeros, especially the captaincies, who work hard all year to offer a show worthy of admiration.
The Moors and Christians festival ends in Dénia on August 16, coinciding with the day of Sant Roc (San Roque). On that day, Moors and Christians engage in a battle for this land that gives the Christians as victors and causes the abandonment of the Moorish troops.
Philaes of the Moorish side and the Christian side
Currently there are 16 filaes or groups that make up the Moorish and Christian sides, a number that has grown notably in recent years since in 1997 women joined (Until that late moment they had no representation).
Organization: captains, captains and flag bearers
Every year there are two captaincies, one Moorish and the other Christian, which rotate and follow one row en row in order of seniority. Each captaincy decides who will hold the positions of captains and flag bearers, either by vote or by proposal of the interested parties.
The captains are the main figures of the party, always accompanied by their flag bearers, and they are the ones who fight on top of the floats that parade through the streets of Dénia in the gala parade on August 15.
In the days before the festivities, and also in the celebration of the Mig Any In February, the captaincies receive numerous guests at the receptions they organize.