del 10-jul-2020 al 25-jul-2020

Moraira Patron Saint celebrations

On 6 and 22 July Moraira puts on its best party to celebrate its patron saint in honour of the Virgen de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Unprotected) and the Virgen del Carmen (the Virgin of Mount Carmel): street parties, processions, concerts, floral offerings or mascletás (firecrackers) fill the much loved celebration with colour and fun.

These happy celebrations evoke the importance of fishing in Moraira's history, with a maritime procession, which along with the floral procession on 15 July, is the crowning glory and leit motif of this celebration.

The official opening is in honour of the Virgen de los Desamparados (Virgin of the Unprotected), patron saint of the Valencia Autonomous Community. It includes general bell ringing as the Murta (brass band) enters the church, with the streets are strewn with aromatic plants which grow on the mountain, especially myrtle. It makes for a specatular floral offering to the Virgin. Passacaglia (street musicians) and music groups provide the soundtrack, concluding with a rousing version of the Moraira anthem. The street parties and roaming music groups bring the day's events to a close.

The celebration in honour of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of the sea, is held on the second day. The traditional despertá -setting off firecrackers first thing in the morning accompanied by a music band- a huge explosion of firecrackers (mascletá) followed by a religious ceremony and seemingly never-ending display of firecrackers are the starting point for the day's celebrations.

The solemn maritime procession in honour of the Virgin is a poignant moment after the firecrackers and the religious ceremony. A strange procession which all the boats in the area join to accompany their patron saint, along with the festival goers, it is the decisive moment of the festival and tourists and residents alike crowd the streets to witness these solemn acts. Women dressed in white with black lace shawls head towards the fishing boat which will carry the Virgin on a bed of flowers and will be the guide for all the boats which go out to worship the patron saint. Even small row boats, decorated with flowers join the procession. It is a very special and moving moment.

On the boats' return, the Virgin is processed to the parish church, as visitors and towns people shower her with rose petals as she passes. After the procession in honour of the Virgin, there is an impressive firework display, so magnificent that it attracts hundreds of people to see these beautiful and iconic events.

In a change to previous years, what has become perhaps the most popular part of the festivities is the last part, a Flower Power party; an event full of unity and originality. With residents dressed in 60s and 70s style clothes and celebrating the ideal of non violence, Moraira ends its celebrations with a "hippy" party, with the proceeds donated to the Christian charity Cáritas, fun for a good cause!

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