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Culture
 
  Lisa Stansfield to Open Alicante Festival
British star Lisa Stansfield will open this year’s Alicante Port Festival on July 22nd.The singer from Rochdale will be presenting her new album ‘The Moment’ at the annual festival that unites pop acts, dance and theatre groups.She will be joined by a whole host of Spanish stars.For more details on the ‘Festival del Puerto’ which runs until the end of August, call the Alicante tourist board on 965 929 802.
   
  Central Band Of The Royal British Legion To Visit Spain
August will present a unique opportunity for British ex-pats and others on the Costa Blanca, when one of the top brass bands in the UK travels to Spain to participate in Torrevieja’s annual “Festival of Bands”.
   
  A Summer of Culture For Torrevieja
The Councillor for Culture in the Town Hall of Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolón, and the Councillor for Youth, María Dolores Canales, have announced the cultural programme for summer 2005, which has been organized by the Municipal School of Culture ‘Joaquín Chapaprieta Torregrosa’ and which has a budget of 470.000€ for the 154 activities planned for July, August and September this year.
   
  A Guide to the Moors and Christian Festival
Moors and Christians is one of the biggest and most extended fiestas in Spain. This tradition is celebrated in almost three hundred small and medium localities of the Peninsula. This ritual tells the battle between the Moorish side and the Christian side. These ritual fights, which are filled of a big exaltation of catholic religion, are a joyful excitement and entertainment proving to be one of the most popular fiestas of Spain. Most part of the villages, especially in the area of Alicante, apparently commemorate the “Reconquista” of the locality in some moment of the Medieval Age.      From data offered by some 500 cases, Moorish and Christian festivals are approached as a morphological and historical research object, as well as a symbolic expression. Their permanent and variable elements are identified. Their historical developments are drawn, connecting them with other conquest rituals and related festivities.  Origins of Moors and ChristianThe tradition says these kind of ‘plays’ commemorates the “Reconquista”. This dark period of Spanish history goes from 1.579  to 1.609 A.D, which is when the moors are thrown out of Spain, by the Reyes Católicos, Isabel and Fernando. This why the celebration takes place in different months of the year. Depending in which locality you are, Moros y Cristianos, will be celebrated in March, April, June or July. The struggle against both sides symbolises the Spanish fight to reach for its unity as a free country, out of the domination of the Arabs, which lasted during centuries. As in every tradition, there is always part of legend, and part of History. In this case we find the figure of  Jaume the First, The Conqueror, as one the most important knights to become a saviour of Spain. “Reconquista” means literally “to conquer again” that’s it: to take what belongs to them. Although, Reyes Católicos did some great things, they were also responsible for letting the church create the terrible Spanish Inquisition. Some experts have said, after expelling all the moors, Spain suffered an incredible delay of progress that lasted centuries. Arabs brought an incredible culture to Spain. There are nearly 4.000 words in Spanish language that comes from the Arabs. Arabs also brought agriculture, medicine, architecture, maths and music (flamenco has Arab roots, too) among other values and contributions. During their 800 years of domination, Arabs let the freedom of religion, and Christians and Moors lived in peace for a long time. Nobody knows what would have happen if the moors have stayed until today.  At this point we can only guess, but we would probably live in a totally different country.
   
  Semana Santa: Programme for the next week
From 12 to 18 March: At 19:00 every day there will be a traditional and solemn ‘Septenario’ in the Inmaculada Concepción church. Traditional songs will be sung by the church choir, directed by María Isabel Vallejos Planelles and César Cánovas Girada. The organ will be played by Carmen García Almira.
   
 
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