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Men covered in moss commemorate Spanish town's liberation 8 centuries ago

  • EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN - A moss man plays with his child as he gets ready to take part during the Corpus Christi procession in the small village of Bejar, Spain, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Men covered from head to toe in moss have paraded through the streets of Bejar in western Spain to commemorate a daring raid that local legend says helped liberate their town from Muslim occupation some eight centuries ago. Locals believe that during the reign of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) men camouflaged themselves in moss from local forests to enable them to approach the gates of a Muslim fortress.  (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

    EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN - A moss man plays with his child as he gets ready to take part during the Corpus Christi procession in the small village of Bejar, Spain, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Men covered from head to toe in moss have paraded through the streets of Bejar in western Spain to commemorate a daring raid that local legend says helped liberate their town from Muslim occupation some eight centuries ago. Locals believe that during the reign of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) men camouflaged themselves in moss from local forests to enable them to approach the gates of a Muslim fortress. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)  (The Associated Press)

  • Moss men and a reveler carry Spanish flags as they  take part during the Corpus Christi procession in the small village of Bejar, Spain, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Men covered from head to toe in moss have paraded through the streets of Bejar in western Spain to commemorate a daring raid that local legend says helped liberate their town from Muslim occupation some eight centuries ago. Locals believe that during the reign of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) men camouflaged themselves in moss from local forests to enable them to approach the gates of a Muslim fortress.  (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

    Moss men and a reveler carry Spanish flags as they take part during the Corpus Christi procession in the small village of Bejar, Spain, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Men covered from head to toe in moss have paraded through the streets of Bejar in western Spain to commemorate a daring raid that local legend says helped liberate their town from Muslim occupation some eight centuries ago. Locals believe that during the reign of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) men camouflaged themselves in moss from local forests to enable them to approach the gates of a Muslim fortress. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)  (The Associated Press)

  • A moss woman marches as women watch from their window during the Corpus Christi procession in the small village of Bejar, Spain, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Men covered from head to toe in moss have paraded through the streets of Bejar in western Spain to commemorate a daring raid that local legend says helped liberate their town from Muslim occupation some eight centuries ago. Locals believe that during the reign of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) men camouflaged themselves in moss from local forests to enable them to approach the gates of a Muslim fortress.  (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

    A moss woman marches as women watch from their window during the Corpus Christi procession in the small village of Bejar, Spain, Sunday, June 7, 2015. Men covered from head to toe in moss have paraded through the streets of Bejar in western Spain to commemorate a daring raid that local legend says helped liberate their town from Muslim occupation some eight centuries ago. Locals believe that during the reign of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) men camouflaged themselves in moss from local forests to enable them to approach the gates of a Muslim fortress. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)  (The Associated Press)

Men covered from head to toe in moss have paraded through the streets of Bejar in western Spain to commemorate a daring raid that local legend says helped liberate the town from Muslim occupation some eight centuries ago.

Locals believe that during the reign of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) men camouflaged themselves in moss from local forests to enable them to approach the gates of a Muslim fortress.

Once there, they waited until the drawbridge opened before ambushing the unsuspecting guards. One version of the legend says the guards took fright at the moss-men's appearance and fled.

Every June the parade coincides with Bejar's Corpus Christi celebration and town-dwellers shower the moss-men with flower petals as dignitaries and youngsters who have done their first holy communion accompany them.