February 1 – San Cecilio Day in Grenada, Spain

Posted on February 1, 2017

For centuries and centuries centuries (like, around 700 years), much of the Iberian peninsula (today, Spain and Portugal) were ruled by Moors. The Moors were Muslims from northwestern Africa – and if you check out a map, you will see why Spain was the part of Europe that the Moors first conquered rather than, say, Greece or Italy.
The map above is marked with today's country names.
Note that the northwestern part of Africa, namely Morocco,
is extremely close to the southern tip of Spain.
The Moors crossed the narrow Strait of Gibraltar
to enter Spain and the Iberian Peninsula.

Granada is one of the cities in Spain that has some wonderful architectural reminders of the nation's Moorish past, especially the palace called the Alhambra.




Above, the Alhambra




Of course, patron saints are a feature of the Catholic religion, not of Islam, and as of the late 1400s, Catholics reconquered Spain, including Grenada. The patron saint of Grenada, Saint Caecilius of Elvira (in Spanish, San Cecilio), who lived long before the Moors ever came.

Today, on Saint Caecilius's feast day, there is a procession in his honor as well as performances and other festivities.


I just have to get back to how great the Alhambra is, though...I mean, look at this place:


Note that Muslim buildings are often highly decorated -
HOWEVER, importantly, they are not decorated with pictures
of people and animals -- and certainly not of prophets or gods!
That sort of depiction is against Muslim rules.
Instead, the decorations tend to be geometric patterns and calligraphy.





Some of the gorgeous details are, as explained above, Arabic calligraphy.
This bit of calligraphy reads, "God is the only victor."




Also on this date:
































Malaysia's Federal Territory Day





National Freedom Day 










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