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Our Lady of the Forsaken Part 2: Insanity & Parades

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This weekend it was all about the Virgin. Thousands upon thousands of people took part in the various events which we previewed last Friday. Here’s the second of two parts from our report for 2009. The first can be found here.

valencia-religion
Baby Tossing

On Sunday morning at 10:30, the Virgin is brought out of her basilica, paraded around the Plaza de la Virgen, and then brought into the cathedral — a tiny procession lasting just 30 minutes. “How pleasant and non-threatening”, you think. HA! YOU ARE A FOOL.


Another video of the virgin leaving the Basilica filmed from above, sent in by @mariacervantes; she also took some pics

During the procession, thousands of believers are trying to touch the virgin and they will stop at nothing to be blessed. People just lose their freaking minds; crying, screaming, crowd-surfing, pushing, cackling and (awesomely) passing their infant children to strangers, who pass them to other strangers, who pass them to other strangers, who foist them upon the virgin and then pass them back again. It is shocking.

[Years later]
“Mommy, I won again! I’ve always been super lucky!”
“Oh yeah, um. That’s because I let some stranger throw you against a statue when you were 6 months old.”
“… I hate you, Mommy.”

traslado-2009
Rita-Barberá
toca-la-virgen
virgin-hysteria

Honestly, this procession is kind of terrifying … at one point, I was being shoved from both the front and behind, and thought I might get trampled. But if you’re prepared for the madness, the fervor of the believers is truly something to behold.

virgen-traslado-2009
king-valencia
guarding-the-virgin
holding-the-cross-of-jesus
roses-for-the-virgin
VIRGIN

More information and many more images here:

baby-blessing
uber-virgin
here-is-the-virgin
bowing-virgin
help-me-maria
passing-the-baby
baby-kissing-virgin
TV-Virgin
nena-virgin-valencia
do-not-ask
sheep-valencia
Carlos-Osoro
valencia-cathedrale-fence
virgen-valencia-2009
Afternoon Procession

At 6:30pm on Sunday evening, a much more sober procession takes place around the heart of the city. The protagonist is once again the Virgin, but for some reason nobody desperately wants to touch her this time. They solemnly stand by and let her pass. Yes, those same madmen who were literally crying and shaking with ecstasy mere hours ago, are now content to throw rose petals and applaud. What, did Our Lady lose her magical blessing power, or has the entire city lost its mind? Because it has to be one or the other.

procession-virgin
fallera-mayor-infantil
fallera-mayor-2009

The procession is looooong and fairly boring. There’s not much to see besides the Virgin at the conclusion of the parade, so unless you’re a huge fan of watching old women in black dresses walk slowly, don’t feel bad about coming just for the end.

Waiting for the virgin:

stairs-mercado-central
waiting-in-style
nuns-waiting-for-virgin
virgin-roof-valencia
dog-waiting-for-the-virgin

Coming closer:

Where-is-the-virgin
carina-fallera
waiting-fallera-for-virgin
valencia-jewelry
cabalgata-valencia
hombres-waiting-for-virgin

There she is:

virgin-arrived
virgin-micalet/
boys-choire
valor-virgin
Osoro-Valencia
virgin-roses

, ,
May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm
6 comments »
  • May 13, 2009 at 4:00 pmCarlton

    Wow. I had no idea something like this happened. Thank you for sharing it.


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