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Elche(ĕl`chā), Valencian Elx, city (1990 pop. 184,912), Alicante prov., SE Spain, in Valencia. It is surrounded by an extensive grove of date palms, the only one of its kind in Europe. The city's industries produce footwear, soap, olive oil, and palm products. Elche preserves a North African atmosphere. Many Iberian, Greek, Roman, and Moorish artifacts have been found in the area, notably the Lady of Elche, a stone bust (presumed to date from the 5th cent. B.C.) now in Madrid's National Museum of Archaeology. An annual drama dating from the Middle Ages marks the feast of the Assumption.
a city in Spain, on the Viñalopo River; located in Alicante Province, in the region of Valencia. Population, 122,700 (1970). Elche is the center of an agricultural region producing olives, almonds, and pomegranates. The city manufactures leather and footwear, vegetable oil, soap, and flour.
Mystery Play (Elche)
The mystery play is performed from a raised platform in the sanctuary of the Church of La Merced. It is considered by many to be one of Spain's greatest religious dramatic survivals, and it is believed to date back to the early 13th century.
Valencia Tourist Office
Communitat Valenciana, Aptdo. de Correos 48
Burjassot, 46100 Spain
34-902-123-212; fax: 34-902-220-211
FestEur-1961, p. 141
FestWestEur-1958, p. 203
SpanFiestas-1968, p. 164
Mystery Play (Tibet)
It is performed on the last day of the year in the courtyards of Buddhist temples or monasteries and continues for two days. A group of priests in black miters is confronted by one group of demons after another, which they manage to exorcize. On the second day, a dough effigy representing the enemies of Tibet and Lamaism is dismembered and disemboweled. Pieces of the effigy are thrown to the audience, who eat them or keep them to use as talismans. The play is followed by a burnt offering and a procession.
See also Losar
Office of Tibet
Tibet House, 1 Culworth St.
London, NW8 7AF United Kingdom
44-20-7722-5378; fax: 44-20-7722-0362
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 777 (c)