Expressive culture constitutes a field of study par excellence for the combined efforts of anthropology, history and folklore. This contribution deals with a public drama in which mock fights are enacted in the streets and squares of Andalusian towns and villages. The analysis takes into account both the history of Muslim-Christian relationships and the vicissitudes of this particular festival. Links are suggested between religious folklore and economic and political trends. Students have taken it for granted that this festival is "popular". Historical evidence points in the direction of elite and urban origins. Attention is paid to the cultural agents of diffusion. Finally, suggestions are offered for further inquiry into celebratory events in Andalusia and elsewhere in Europe.