Pollenca’s fiestas: the battle between Moors and Christians

| April 6, 2012

The main event in this celebration recreates the battle of May 30, 1550 against Dragut the Corsair and his band of pirates.

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Pollenca's fiestas: the battle between Moors and Christians

August 2 is the fiesta of the Mare de Déu dels Àngels, Pollença’s patron saint, which commemorates the victory of Christians over Dragut’s Moorish pirates, who attacked the village on the night of May 30-31, 1550.

The holiday begins after the night time festivities conclude at five in the morning with the municipal band’s version of La Alborada. The celebration continues with a mass in honour of the Mare de Déu dels Àngels at 11.00 a.m. and a performance by the Cossiers, a group of Mallorcan folk dancers.

In the afternoon, the action begins in Plaza de l’Almoina with the encounter between Joan Más, leader of the Christians, and Dragut with his lieutenant, the Moorish leader. After Joan Más’ famous cry to the Virgin, ‘Mare de Déu dels Àngels, help us! The pirates are upon us!’ at 7.00 p.m., the awaited encounter between Moors and Christians takes place and the battle begins.

The Moors retreat down Calle Major and when they reach Can Nogués, l’Ajuntament Vella, a character that represents the Mallorcan body of government of yesteryear, joins in the battle. Another skirmish is re-enacted when the combatants reach the Church of Sant Jordi, which represents the liberation of the women, men and children the Moors had imprisoned there. The battle continues down to the old football pitch, where the final confrontation takes place.

After the victory, Joan Más captures the corsairs’ flag with its half-moon and heads alongside the other Christians to the parish church, where a Te Deum is sung in thanks to Our Lady for the victory. The day concludes with the interpretation of La Alborada and the village hymn Visca Pollença in Plaza Mayor, followed by with fireworks.

More information:  www.ajpollenca.net

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