Day 119

Today, I plaited some friendship bracelets for my friend who is getting married in July, to help with her wedding favours:

 

The plaiting is much quicker than Kumihimo!

I also did a bit more hand stitching:

 

  

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Around Alcoi

The Moors and Christians festival is held in the town of Alcoi (Alcoy), just north of Alicante. It’s a beautiful town, and we had some time between the two parades to explore.

Here are some of my photos from our walk around the town:

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A beautiful view down from the bridge into the river bed, with the town and mountains.

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Some fab art as we crossed the bridge into the town.

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The streets all have these fab metal arches, which were lit up at night.

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Everyone decorated their balcony with flags, and watched the parades, throwing confetti.

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The park was full of palm trees, which I guess are very ordinary if you live in an area full of them, but I still find them beautiful, with their ridged trunks and pointy, spiky leaves.

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Spider webs in a hole on the park wall.

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I liked this approach to street signs!

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A fabulous old door…

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…and the faded lettering on it.

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Our reflections in a modern art sculpture in a square by the old knitting factories.

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The bell tolled…

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Seemingly because it was seven minutes past six pm!

A lovely town, which I’d like to explore more one day. There are more photos I took here.

Day 117

I spent the evening sorting through photos from my weekend away, working out what to keep and what to lose.

Here are some of my favourites from the Moors and Christians Parade.

 

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They had wonderful banners and pennants. The parade is put on by a wide number of different files (groups) locally; all of the costumes and props are made by them to an amazing level of detail.

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The term “Filà” derives from “fila” (line): the line of “Festeros” (participants) parading in lines. The origin of the “Filaes” was the diversification of the two original groups (Moor Christians and Catholic Christians) into many others. This was due to the growing number of participants (“Festeros”) who, wearing the same and distinguishable clothes, became autonomous members of their sides. (From The Associa Sant Jordi)

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A lot of the costumes include wonderful headdresses.

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Some amazing embroidery on the back of one fila’s jacket. Everyone has the same costume executed to the same high level, and then the costumes are then hired out to other. Moors and Christians festivals throughout the region, as the festival in Alcoy is the main one.

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Each fila has a headquarters and practice room somewhere on the side streets of Alcoy, where they practice throughout the year, as well as eating a celebratory meal together after the parade. We were walking down a side street, looking for somewhere to have lunch, when this Fila were parading down the street, practicing. We had to duck into a doorway to let them past, and they spotted me taking photos, so started singing and dancing. Each group is followed by a full marching band, with percussion, brass and wind instruments.

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The local shops sell massive bags of confetti and streamers, which are thrown throughout the festival. Someone was sweeping their balcony of excess confetti, and these two children were playing in the confetti which had been swept off.

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The confetti makes the streets look really pretty, though I can imagine it’s not easy to clean up!

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The Moors part of the festival includes lots of groups of dancers who dance their way through the streets.

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My camera has a rather good zoom lens, so I was able to capture some great shots of participants enjoying the parade.

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I loved these lion head masks.

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Some brilliant Moor costumes. I felt that generally the Moorish costumes were more impressive. It was a fabulous day out, and I’d recommend it to anyone, the parade was really exciting, with kids setting off firecrackers in the streets, and all the music and dancing. There were also quite a few horses and some camels. Some of the horses did dressage style dancing.

If you’re in Alcoy around the end of April do go to the festival!

Day 116

Today, we went to Alicante castle, a magnificent castle, high on the hill in the middle of Alicante. I drew these two arches while we sat and enjoyed a cool drink in the cafe:

 

I have more photos of the castle, which I’ll share soon. 

Day 115

A relaxed day at Simon’s parents house, in Spain near Alicante. They live up in the hills, surrounded by fields of oranges, lemons, and broccoli, and so I painted the view from their terrace:

  

Day 114

A slight delay in posting, as I spent the weekend on holiday. The drawing today was the view of a bust and a tree in a park in Alcoi, while we took a break from watching the Moors and Christians festival:

 

The festival itself was  fabulous, two parades with great costumes and floats, and firecrackers being set off in the the streets. I took a lot of great photos, I’ll share some on here when I’ve uploaded them.