Moros y Cristianos en honor de Nuestra Señora de las Virtudes (Villena)
Between the 4th and the 9th of September the most famous festivity of Villena takes place: the Moors & Christians Festival, declared Feast of National Tourist Interest.
With a tradition of more than 150 years, Villena's Moors & Christians Festival is a explosion of color, joy and music that fills the streets of our city for five days in a massive representation with thousands of people who dress up with the Moors & Christians clothes. Its origin dates back to 1474, when Our Lady of the Virtues was proclaimed patron saint of Villena. Her image was placed in a sanctuary built in 1490, 7 km from the town, and people from Villena made the promisse to go on pilgrimage twice a year, one after the Easter and the other on September 8th.
Nowadays, Villena's Moors & Christians Festival is the biggest Moors & Christians festivals in terms of people taking part in its parades, with more then 12.000 people, thus the main parades can last about seven hours. Villena's main parades take place on September 5th, with "La Entrada", and 6th, with "La Cabalgata", but there are many other parades and events during the festival, as the "Embajadas", an impressive historical reenactment that is celebrated at Villena Castle the 6th and 8th of September.
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