AUGUST - Moors and Christians
These festivities begin with the entrances of both sides, Moors and Christians plus the embassies.
This festivity has been documented in Elche since 1744 and withsuccessive modifications and absences it has reached our days. With its present form it is resumed in 1978 when the Asociación Festera de Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians Festive Association) is created. In that year the first festivity is held in August in honour of the patron saint of the Association, the Virgen de la Asunción (Virgin of the Assumption).
As Charges act in the festivities a Captain for each side, in addition to the characters who take part in the Embassies that are the Ambassador Moor, Christian Sentinel, Christian Warden, Christian Ambassador Castilian, Christian Ambassador Aragonese Sentinel, Moro Warden, Moro Warden and King D. Jaime.
Nit de l'Albá
La Nit de l'Albá is a celebration that goes back to the Middle Ages. Hundreds of generations of Elcheans have celebrated near midnight on 13 August, an extraordinary dawn, an unusual dawn that takes place in the sky of the city. It is customary for residents and visitors to come to the terraces of the buildings at 23:00 hours on the 13th, to contemplate and participate in the pyrotechnic spectacle in which the whole city collaborates by firing rockets and fireworks in honour of the patron saint and in memory of loved ones. The show culminates at 24:00 h with all the lighting turned off, while the large Virgin Palm Tree or Maredeu Palm Tree is launched, causing a sunrise that illuminates the city for a few seconds. It is a typical custom among neighbours and friends to eat a watermelon at the end of the show.
Nit de la Roà
The night of August 14th and the early morning of the 15th is "La Roá". It is customary to watch over the death of the Virgin, which took place during the celebration of the "Vespra" of the Misteri, and for this thousands of people procession throughout the night and dawn through the streets of the center with lighted candles. The city does not sleep that night, because in addition to the religious celebration, there is a "march" in the streets, with music and a festive atmosphere.