The festival of Moors and Christians is the most important event of the year in Alcoy. It is dedicated to San Jorge, a figure shrouded in ancestral traditions. The festival dates back to the 16th century and commemorates a battle which was fought in 1276. At that time, Alcoy stood on the border of the Muslim-held territories of Spain. There were frequent skirmishes between the two factions until, on 23 April 1276, the Arab troops of Al-Azraq attempted to storm the town. According to legend, San Jorge appeared during the battle and, thanks to his intervention, the Christian army won the day, forcing the Muslims to retreat and never to return. In recognition of his timely intercession, the townsfolk of Alcoy made him their patron saint and promised to hold a festival in his honour.