Definitive guide

Moros y Cristianos

A flashy, loud and colourful parade inspired by Spain’s Moorish and Christian past. Horses, dancers, and battle reenactments animate the streets of Valencia

Moros y Cristianos, meaning Moors and Christians (also spelled as Moros i Cristians in Valencian), is a themed parade that takes place in Valencia under Fallas, bringing even more colour, music, and festive atmosphere to the city than there already is. The event is supposed to commemorate the battles and clashes between Muslims and Christians during the Spanish Reconquista (8th to 15th century).

Even though the theme is rooted in real events, the parade is much more of a series of theatrical performances than a historically accurate rendition. Nonetheless, Moros y Cristianos is considered a historic celebration of the territory and extremely representative of the Valencian land.

In fact, many different versions of Moros y Cristianos exist throughout the region. You’ll even find that there are two of these events in the city. One takes place during Fallas - this is the one we are focusing on in this article. The other takes place during the Nou d’Octubre (9th of October) celebrations - the Day of the Valencian Community.

This doesn’t mean that this kind of festivity is exclusive to Valencia. Other cities in Spain, especially in Andalusia, as well as in the Philippines and in the Americas, have their own versions of the festival. Of course, the celebrations are all different, but what attracts the public stays pretty much consistent everywhere.

These parades are full of colours, they have traditional music, floats, dances, and cavalry. As this is Valencia we are talking about, gunpowder and fireworks could not be missing. You can expect to see over-the-top costumes very loosely inspired by Mediaeval clothing. Furs, armours, scimitars, swords, head scarves and heavy fabrics are all recurring elements.

Participants wearing medieval costumes during Moros y Cristianos - Fallas Valencia
You’ll notice that each group in the parade has their own clothing style and colour scheme, making the event very similar to a carnival.

The two Fallas committees that, along with the Federació Valenciana de Moros i Cristians, participate most actively in these parades are falla Pío XI-Fontanares and

falla Almirante Cadarso – Conde Altea. These committees organise their filaes or comparses (companies of impersonators) to take part in the event and entertain the public with their dances or reenactments.