Elche was made for this festival...
Where would you hold a medieval fiesta in Spain? Elche would come first in my mind. In the old atmospheric town of Elche, there are towering palm forest and mystical squares reminiscent of old long-forgotten times, medieval times.
Add to which the Moorish heritage, the Spanish Fiesta in Elche, medieval market and festivities help to bring the feel of olde-world Elche closer. In the cool of November nights, it is easily imagine the stage-sound-set which is Elche's medieval market, bedouin campfires , tuareg tents, open bar-be-ques with meaty products grilling, the baker with his outside adobe-oven.
Re-enactments, fire displays, Elche becomes the fitting backdrop for the Medieval Festival, transporting visitors back to ancient times and helping them to understand better the origins of this great, medieval city.
The street market, strolling troubadours and music minstrels, processions and fire jumpers take over the city for a few days during which there are also other cultural events such as seminars dealing with medieval music and theatre as well as striking performances of the Elche Mystery Play.
The old centre of the city and the main date palm park provide an exquisite made-to-measure medieval backdrop that no Hollywood budget could hope to emulate. The golden setting sun at dusk pushed your imagination back into antiquity, but perhaps a santised and stylized version of it. Would anyone would truly want to experience a true recreation of 14th century Europe, as in furtive knives in dark corners, or the aromatic tang of unwashed peasants mixed with open fires fueled by dried horse dung.
As it was, at the Medieval Festival in Elche, the air was filled with aromas of delicious meat roasting and rustic bread baking in olde-worlde outside ovens, stall-holders in costumes befitting the ancient celebration tending to the wares.
Platters full of cooked meat were often offered to passersby to tempt them into sitting down and having meals. The setting could not have been bettered in shadow of the towering palm trees as the sun turned into dusk, and night. Mystical, mysterious, magical. Potions, elixirs, natural remedies on the one hand, even 100 percent Argan oil preparations; bejeweled knick-knacks, shishah, sequined harem-pants on the other. It was an amazing experience.