Although Moors and Christians events are celebrated around Spain, one of the biggest and most popular is the annual event held in Orihuela.
The local Moors and Christians Association, “Santas Justa y Rufina”, has this week published the schedule for the event in 2023, with a couple of events in January, but the culmination taking place in July.
- Saturday 28 January: Act of Exaltation of the Festive Mid-Year at the Teatro Circo Atanasio Die de Orihuela.
- Sunday 29 January: Mid-Year Festive Parade.
- Thursday 1 June: Presentation of the Festival Poster.
- Thursday 29 June: Presentation of the Official Festival Magazine.
- Saturday 1 July: Festive Exaltation Act at the Teatro Circo.
- Sunday 9 July: Offering of flowers.
- Wednesday 12 July: Gunpowder Guerrilla and Castle Storm.
- Thursday 13 July: Retreat.
- Friday 14 July: Moorish Entrance.
- Saturday 15 July: Christian Entrance.
- Sunday 16 July: Children’s Parade.
- Monday 17 July: Día del Pájaro.
The final day is considered the main event, a local holiday, when, on 17 July, the anniversary of the reconquest of the city of Orihuela is celebrated, popularly known as Día del Pájaro, day of the bird. In the morning the Glorious Enseña del Oriol, the bird symbol of Orihuela, a copy of which is on a plinth outside the town hall on the Orihuela Costa, is lowered from the balcony of the Town Hall and carried by the municipal authorities in a solemn procession through Santa Justa and Rufina to the Church. In the afternoon the opposite route is taken to return to the balcony.