Moors and Christians in Soller 9.5.2016

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Every year the Moors and Christians day takes place in May and yet it owes little to historical accuracy. The origin of the current fiesta is the restoration of the Turkish domination over the Mediterranean sea in the late fifteenth century, beginning with its series of invasions in the western Mediterranean from Africa.
Charles V of Habsburg attempted to beat the pirates along with Aragon, Castilla and the Balearic Islands but he failed.
In the mid-sixteenth century nowhere on the coastline was safe from a pirate sacking, something that the then inhabitants of Alcudia, Andratx, Pollença and Sóller would have confirmed. The watchtowers dotted around the island bear witness to those pirates threats.
The Sollerics celebrate every May victory in a battle that took place in 1561. The way that it was won is not quite certain but everyone taking part wants to play the role of the Moors as they have the colourful costumes, faces painted black and they get to chase women and sail boats.
The beginning of the fiesta is announced at 3 o’clock, and the Moors sail out to sea, then return immediately to invade. On the beach, the Christians are waiting for them, and they fill their mixed powder guns and shoot constantly in the air.
Majorcan women remain outside at first and sing their songs of war. The victory against the Moors in Soller is attributed to the brave women of the town because, when the men seemed to be losing, it is the women who attacked.
As a spectator it is best if you watch the event with a sense of humor or join in the action….

Moors and Christians in Soller 9.5.2016

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