Filà Almoriscos will hold 2023 Captaincy with Vicente Montaner Mata and Merche Llidó Cholbi at the head

The celebration of ‘Mig Any’ kicks off the preparation for this popular summer fiesta in Xàbia.

Monday 6th March 2023
Mike Smith with Álvaro Monfort

Five months before the Moors and Christians of Xàbia take to the streets of Aduanas del Mar, this last weekend, the special act of ‘Mig Any’ was celebrated, giving the starting signal to the festivities of 2023.

It is an important event that serves to proclaim this year’s standard bearers for the Moorish and Christian sides, Indira Rosa Cardona Delange and Natalia Moya Llidó, as well as officially present the Captaincy of this year, whilst also paying a small tribute to all those who during 2022 were an essential part of the development and representation of the fiesta.

It was a very special celebration for the Filà Almoriscos, which will hold the Captainship of the 2023 edition through its representatives, Vicente Montaner Mata and Merche Llidó Cholbi.

On Friday night, the great festive family paraded through the seafaring nucleus, recovering the nocturnal entree -prior to the great day- that was held years ago. Numerous revelers gathered in this simple act that filled the streets with colour and a great atmosphere.

Saturday morning started early with a brunch that brought together more than 150 people. At noon, the traditional daytime entraeta took place with which the Moorish and Christian sides emulate the majesty of the Gala Parades that are watched by thousands of spectators every July. From the archway of Calle Pio X, the iconic start point of the summer parades, all the squads set out on a new, longer route that allowed the music and the festive atmosphere to spread even more. First it was the turn of the Christian side with the Filà Ballesters at the head, followed by Trabuquers, Contrabandistas de Xàbia, Pirates de Sant Jaume, Bandoleres and Faciners. The Christian side was followed by the Moors formed by the Baharis, Schaitans, Xibia, Al-Tarik’s, Almoradins and Almoriscos squads.

The central act of Mig Any took place during the afternoon in the Salones Carrasco where, on this occasion, more than 200 people came to enjoy a gala meal, proclaim who will be the highest representatives of the party during the current festive year and formally present this year’s Captaincy. The meeting was attended by the area delegate of the National Union of Festive Entities, Vicente Ivars Llorca, municipal authorities and representatives of the different local fiestas.

Lorena Ros and Laura Calavia led the act. It began by saying goodbye to Rubén Femenia Mulet, president of the 2019-2022 Fiesta Board, presenting him with a commemorative painting. Later, the insignia of the Board was pinned on its new president, Abel Moll Juliá.

Next, those who during the past year held a priority position at the head of the representation of the Moors i Cristians festival were presented. With great emotion, the standard bearers Lucía Llidó Vallés and Carla Llidó Bertolín and the Captains Ballesters, Florencio Mata Crespo and Rosa Catalá Torres, were bid farewell. All of them were given a commemorative painting as a reminder of this representative journey that began like any other but ended up being postponed due to the pandemic. The standard bearers 20-22 wanted to say goodbye to their position, thanking the Filaes for the love and support received during this time.

Next, the Standard Bearers of 2023 were proclaimed who, from this moment on, become the visible face of the fiesta wherever it is present. Indira Rosa Cardona (from the Filà Al-Tarik’s) and Natalia Moya (from the Filà Contrabandistes de Xàbia) were received with applause and cheers. The mayor of Xàbia placed the sash of office and the president of the Junta de Festes presented them with a bouquet of flowers. From this moment, the two young women become the highest festive and representative authority of the Moors and Christians of Xàbia.

Finally, the Filà Capitana for this year was presented. The Filà Almoriscos will be in charge of holding the title and its Captains, Vicente Montaner Mata and Merche Llidó Cholbi, will be in charge of leading it. Both wanted to share this special moment accompanied by their sons. It is not for less, Montaner has long been a part of the fiesta. Among other milestones, he was one of the founders of the Filà Almoriscos in 1986 and since then he has become an alma mater for his colleagues. He served as president of the Fiesta Board in the 2000-2001 period and received the Sant Jaume Award (a distinction awarded by the fiesta to outstanding people in its history) in 2019.

To end the event, the president of the Fiesta Board, Abel Moll, addressed all those present, thanking them for their attendance and encouraging the different filaes to look to the future together with the aim of making the event bigger and more unique. The event was closed with speeches by the councilor for Fiestas, Kika Mata, and the mayor of Xàbia, José Chulvi.