Moors and Christians Party in Benamahoma (1st – 4th of August)

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Moors and Christians Party in Benahamoma

Benamahoma Town is a white and cosy town in the middle of the mountains in Cadiz. It is an old and historic town where many tourists come to visit it, being a important point to start to do walks in the area. It is inside the National Park of Grazalema where you can eat an excellent goat cheese. Benamahoma is specialized in a very tasteful honey. You feel the deep smell of mountains in a quiet and peaceful environment.

The Moors and Christians Party is declared as an Interest Tourist Party. I went over there with a planification which is absolutely neccesary to take good photos (seeing photos taking last years, reading offical webpages,..) and It was not dissapointed me. The party carries out basically in two different days. On Saturday The Moors win to the Christians and the day after they recover the saint and conquest the town of Benamahoma again.It talks about the history in the Medieval but it talks about the fight between families in last century as well. On the Streets children usually fought themselves to keep the honour of winning the fight or simply rivalry. I heard that last day they specially fight bravely because only in the next party will settle accounts.

The party is located in different sceneries. The first day It starts in the bull ring and finishes on a little church. On the second day the final battle occurs in the birth of the river in a crucial fight which Christians recover the Saint Antonio . So, in the middle of frecuent and continuos dispute and arguments they compete for defend the town. Finally, the Christians recover the town and consecuently the saint that previously belonged to Moors. I must say that the members of the association, who organise the event every year, get involved in the performance and feel a deeply respect for the old tradition. I could see how members excited and even cried when they held the saint in their arms and finished the play. This year Benahoma remembered a very loved man who recently died called Bartolo. According to local people Bartolo was a very cheerful and happy man and this is the spirit which all local people want to keep during the event.

It is absolutely true that local people are hospitable and hard-wordking and all people band together in their party. It is legacy and wisdom, values and union, fights and brotherhood and this is the culture of Benamahoma. Benahoma has a local history and a consolidated identity and the Moors and Christiand party is a clear example of it. I could hear how over the last century families had passed to children their personel experiences of the event to keeep the tradition alive. Maybe, there will be other more loyals to the history Moors and Christians Parties and with a more careful vocabulary, but is it really important? Does distort the essence of the event?… I don´t think so.

I liked specially the poster ( I include the image  below this text) chosen for promoting the event. As the author said, he tried to think about previous posters and make something different. He asked himself what was the most representative of the party and the value of the event for all the community. The poster shows that turbulent period of time and the figthts and arguments between cultures. “We live in hard times for the authenticity and it is necceasry to prove it and demostrate the value of the difference too” he said.

In conclulsion, a very worthy and well organised party with a possible slogan “The life is a Party of happiness” as the Mayor of the Presindency said in the offical magazine of the event. A last note: Be careful with the sound of the blunderbusses and specially people who are not used for hearing them like me.


Image: Poster of the Event



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