Held between the 7th and the 10th August, Aspe’s Moors and Christians celebrations are noted for the enthusiasm and passion demonstrated by those involved, who successfully convey their emotions to all visitors. For this reason, they were declared an Event of Provincial Tourist Interest in 2012.
Dating back to their first edition in 1978, these celebrations were initially held in view of the district’s close ties with the Muslim occupation of Spain as evidenced by the large amount of celebrations held in our immediate vicinity. Held on an annual basis, they recall the Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula and its subsequent reconquest by the Christians. Therefore, these celebrations are deeply rooted in the Middle Ages, and are noted by their important cultural content as a commemoration of the crucial historical fact represented by the Ambassadors Ceremony, as well as the different events that comprise the Moors and Christians celebrations.
Aspe’s Our Virgen de las Nieves’ Union of Moors and Christians comprises eight floats:
-Duke of Maqueda Christians
-Sierra Negra Smuggler Christians
Throughout the years, Aspe has been shaping its Moors and Christians celebrations around its own history, as clearly proven by the names of the different floats and the identity of its Ambassadors Ceremony text.
These celebrations attract a lot of participation and involve a hectic schedule of events, with the most notable being: arrival of the music bands, hymn chanting, Retreta (musical parade), arrival of the Moors and Christians, battle, visit to Virgen de las Nieves Care Home, parades, holy mass celebrations, processions and the handover of flags.
Aspis Magazine was the first publication connected with the Moors and Christians celebrations.
ASPIS is a biennial magazine inspired by the Moors and Christians celebrations that is published in honour of Our Virgen de las Nieves. Its first edition was issued on 1st August 1981.
It was created to bridge the cap left on odd numbered years by the publication of the SERRANICA magazine on every even numbered year. However, the latter also reports on all the demonstrations held in Aspe during the main celebrations in honour of its patron, Our Virgen de las Nieves, and not only on the Moors and Christians.
Celebrations declared a Regional Tourist Interest
Our Virgen de las Nieves celebration
“At 3pm on any 3rd August in an even numbered year”
This is the phrase that marks the commencement of Aspe’s long awaited celebrations in honour of its patron, Our Virgen de las Nieves. From that moment onwards, there is a succession of events carrying a strong tradition that are deeply rooted in the local population. These are indeed unique, unrepeatable and highly awaited moments, since Aspe, unlike the rest of Spanish towns and cities, only holds these celebrations in honour of its Patron every other year, on even numbered years.
Our Virgen de las Nieves is the symbol of an important tradition preserved by generation after generation of our predecessors who lived in Aspe and Hondon de las Nieves over the last six centuries. Among its most particular features, we can highlight the fact that both towns share the same Patron, therefore alternating the celebrations in her honour. But more specifically, the massive affection provoked by the Virgin also known as Serranica for centuries in so many thousands of people, to become an undoubted mark of identity for both towns of Aspe and Hondon de las Nieves.
In 2018, Pope Francis granted a Jubilee Year on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the first appearance of our Virgen de las Nieves.