Title: [Interview with Vicente Ferrándiz Sanz, Deputy Mayor of Alcoy on the cavalcade of the Magi.]
Duration: 4 min., 09 seg.
Sound collection: Radio Alcoy
Summaries: Entrevista a Vicente Ferrándiz Sanz, teniente de alcalde sobre el recorrido, el coste y otras cuestiones de la cabalgata de los Reyes Magos en Alcoy
Festivities of Moors and Christians is the most extended in the current province of Alicante. And although originally were few the populations that celebrated it before the 20th century, considers that Alcoy is of the first and more important, true source of social cohesion. It is not a homogeneous festivity, has common characteristics, but also diferent elements in each place and municipality where celebrates . The core of the party represents the fight between two big edicts or armies, the Muslim and the Christian. These two big groups divide to his time in numerous subgroups, with peculiarities and own appearances: comparsas, compañías, Kábilas,... That in Alcoy designate "filaes".
The legendary origin of the celebration is in the Battle of Alcoy of 1276. After the conquest of the kingdom of Valencia by Jaume I, the Muslim leader Al-Azraq headed several uprisings against the Aragonese monarch, motivated by the abuses against the autochthonous Muslim population. In the last of the same decided to take by round the population of Alcoy, losing the life during the fray. According to the legend, the leader of the victory was Saint George of Cappadocia (protective of the crusaders and victorious of the dragon), that appeared on the walls of the city and from there launched to combat against the Muslims, like the apostle Santiago in the Clavijo Battle (year 844). It says that like this it was born the cult to the Saint in Alcoy, to the one who swore to celebrate by always this victory. The most ancient document conserved that does quotation to the party dates of the 17th century. History, legend, tradition, religiousness and folklore conjugan like this to give form to these celebrations, of whose organisation commissions the Saint George's Association. The celebration passes along three days, the "trilogía festera" (festivity trilogy). On 22 April it is the "Día de las entradas", in which they parade and exhibit the filaes of each edict, first the Christians and afterwards the Muslims. On 23 April it is devoted to Saint George, is an essentially religious day, of thanksgiving, around the pattern of the parties and of the city. Finally, on 24 April, it is the "Día del Alardo", that is to say, the simulation of fight between Muslims and Christians, where realises a dramatization, first of negotiations between embassies and afterwards of battle. The Muslims are defeated and the party finishes.
There is other elements that suits to quote, and that form part of the festivities. For example, the bands of music: they did his entrance in the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century (1904-1906) composed the "marcha mora", and in 1957, the "marcha cristiana". And with the bands appeared contests and festivals, and even included an exclusive previous day for bands of music. Another element, the artistic section. There is an artistic commission that adviser and fixed some aesthetic criteria, especially regarding the suits (the Muslims and Christians do not disguise , dress , it is necessary to have clear this nuance). The posters advertising also have been important in the future of the festivity. Finally, the gunpowder, shot with arms (harquebuses, musketry and blunderbusses) used in save of honour, but especially necessary for the simulations of fray. It is necessary to take into account that although the party sinks his roots in the medieval age, the "filaes" represent distinct historical moments of conflict (real and potential) between the Raise and the Islamic world. "Moriscos", Berbers pirates, Turkish, urban militias, "kábilas" of the Rif,... With his arms evolved and his distinct attires.
Festivity of Muslims and Christians of Alcoy was declared "Festivity of Tourist Interest" in 1965 and "Festivity of International Tourist Interest" in 1980. Obviously, the relation between Radio Alcoy and the festivity was traditional and very narrow, being a recurrent subject. To ends of the 50, the own City council organised the annual contest "Prensa y Radio Ciudad de Alcoy", whose better scripts were recorded in study with all luxury of audible effects and musical pieces, of which have conserved some broadcasts.
Another municipal festivity of great tradition is the Cabalgata of the Three Kings of Alcoy, one of the most ancient of Spain, being the first documented of 1866, although it celebrates of continuous form from 1885. At present it runs to charge of the City council, in collaboration with the Saint George's Association, organiser also of the Festivity of Moors and Christians. It is a speciall Festivity for the children, that begins on 4 January with the reading of the Royal Proclamation and the collected of letters of the children. But is an important parade of more than 4 hours of length that celebrates on 5 January. It begins with his three Majesties going in by splits it North of the municipality, mounted in dromedary. It exists a peculiarity: the black king is Gaspar, and not Baltasar. The show (in which they participate around 1.200 people), accompanies of own musical melodies and interpreted by the three Alcoy's bands of music: the Musical Corporation "La Primitiva", Musical Society "La Nova", "La Unión Musical" and different union groupings of traditional and popular music. The illumination provide it the traditional "antorcheros", with torches of fire. One of the important acts is the delivery of gifts: for this, near of 200 black servants, go up until the windows of the houses helped by long scales. In the Spain square celebrates the rite of the Jesus adoration, with flares (delivered previously between the public), artificial fires and the interpretation Haendel's Messiah. Finally, the parade follows his route through Sant Llorenç, País Valencià, the bridge of María Cristina, the walk of Cervantes, Alçamora and the bridge of Sant Roc. It was declared Party of National Tourist Interest in 2001 and Well of Cultural Interest in 2011.
The links between the Parade and Radio Alcoy also has been narrow from the first times of the radio station. Like this for example, it knows that in 1929 Jesús Raduán invited to the Ambassador to irradiate the Royal Proclamation when the radio station still gave his first steps, still without legal coverage. During the II Republic, the consistory decided to change the name of the party by the Parade of the Magicians of Alcoy. It was in 1933 -already with the licence- when Jesús Raduán attained to achieve a big advertising effect, requesting permission to celebrate the festivity, in collaboration with the "filà Domingo Miques". The filà organised the parade and Radio Alcoy broadcast the Royal Proclamation of 4 January and celebrated a charitable festival in the theatre Circus, that also was broadcast.
Over time, and thanks to the apparition of the portable recorders, the radio statonwas able to irradiate in differed distinct appearances of the festivities and interview on-site. From 1984, with the adquisition of a mobile unit, when the connections in direct with the outside were usual. In fact, in 1985 they broadcast for the first time in direct the Festivities of Moors and Christians. And in 1986, the Parade of the Three Kings of Alcoy.
Listing of recordings on local parties in Radio Alcoy:
Listing of recordings on folklore in Devuélveme la voz:
University of Alicante. University library. Fonoteca