October 9 - Dia de la Comunidad Valencia

October 9 is the Day of the Valencian Community. It was on Oct. 9, 1238, that Jaime I of Aragon conquered the city from the Moors and this is a holiday in Valencia. One of the events are folk dances at the Plaza de la Virgen, beside the Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados. People are dressed in native costumes and perform their dances in front of the crowd.

There is also the parade of the Moros and Christians that starts at the Calle de La Paz at 5 pm. This parade continues to Calle San Vicente, the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and Marques de Sotelo. This parade lasts about 3 hours and is very entertaining. In 2011 there were 60 groups and 30 bands of music that took part in the parade, with a total of 3000 persons taking part. Each group is dressed as a group of Moors or a group of Christians. Each group has a line of women that walk about twelve abreast. Behind them is another group of men who also walk abreast. There is a woman leader for the women and a masculine leader for the men. They are accompanied by a band that plays very good music, accompanied by large kettle drums that are fitted with wheels. The Moors usually have much more extravagant costumes than the Christians, and they spend a lot of money for these costumes. The designs are fantastic and look like they were designed for movies.

There are also highly trained horses and riders. The horses can dance and it is wonderful to see them do their paces. Many of the riders act out battles with other riders, some taking roles of Moors and others taking roles of Christians. The reviewing stand is at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, in front of the Hotel Melia Plaza. This hotel has rooms with wonderful views of the parade. There are fireworks in the plaza after the parade, which is called the Entrance to the City of Valencia. It is expected that these shows will continue every year to entertain the people of Valencia and its tourists.