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Semana Santa 2010

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I hope you’re recovered from Fallas, because the next big celebration is already here. Get ready for the excitement of Semana Santa in Valencia! Sigh. Well, if we must.

As though to give the city center a break from fiestas, the main Easter week activities take place in the port-side neighborhood Cabanyal. For that reason, it’s known here as Semana Santa Marinera. Starting tonight at 8pm, and every day up until Easter Monday, there are processions and acts. It’s pointless to try and list them all — there are a lot. Check out the full line-up here.

semena-santa-marinera

But the three main processions are as follows:
Thursday, April 1st, 20:00 – Act of the Prophecy
Heralding the beginning of the festivities, the various hooded brotherhoods visit 4 churches, accompanied by bands, in this fast moving, happy & colorful parade.

Friday, April 2nd, 18:30 – General Procession of the Holy Burial
This long parade honors the martyrdom and death of Jesus; the brotherhoods act out biblical scenes from the passion, death of resurrection of JC. Don’t expect a lot of smiling, but this is an impressive parade all the same.

Sunday, April 4th, 13:00 – Parade of the Resurrection
This is the happiest parade, and why not? Jesus has risen, and we’re pretty sure he’s not a zombie! The brotherhoods will have their hoods off in honor of the miracle, and be marching along proudly to happy music. If you’re lucky, you might catch a flower.

Another highlight of Semana Santa is the beautiful beach procession at Malvarossa, on the morning of Good Friday. We went last year, so you can check out more information here.

We’re a little worn out this year from Fallas, and a recent trip to Segovia and Madrid. Don’t forget that both Friday and Monday are holidays, so get your shopping done now!

The Bells and more views from the Micalet


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April 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm Comments (0)

Fallas 2010: Bullfight on March 19th

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ponce-valencia

We took my dad, a lifelong fan of Hemingway, to his first bullfight on the last day of Fallas, squeezing into the stadium’s tiny bench seats as best we could. Next to us, a couple of gray-haired Spanish ladies sat gossiping; in front of us, a rowdy group of Spanish youths smoking and eating bocadillos… a perfectly Spanish day, which could’ve come straight out of Death in the Afternoon.

Enrique Ponce, one of Spain’s most celebrated matadors, started the day with a great performance, and received an ear for his efforts. Kind of gross… he tossed it into the crowd, during his triumphant lap around the arena.

We stayed for the first three bulls, but left mid-way through. Attending a corrida is an intense, uncomfortable and interesting experience, but there’s just so much we foreigners can take.

I know, I know, we’re awful people for attending a corrida — last time we wrote about it, we got a bucketful of hate mail screeching about our depravity. That’s fine, and I understand the argument; an arena filled with people celebrating the death of an animal is pretty barbaric. But I don’t get the intensity of the opposition. The world is full of real problems, like wars, genocide and poverty. Global warming. Female genital mutilation. Deforestation. Catholic rape orgies.

Sigh, but if you must share your hatred with us, at least make sure to put that hamburger down. You won’t want to get your keyboard greasy!

Buy Valencia bullfight tickets here (change location to Spain)

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March 26, 2010 at 5:14 pm Comments (2)

Fallas 2010: Upcoming Events

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For hostel/hotel bookings during Fallas, we’ve found the best rates at Hostelbookers and Booking.com

fallas-2010

We feel for everyone who can’t make it to this year’s Fallas, but hopefully the content we’ve posted so far helps soothe the pain!

And we’re feeling for everyone who lives in Valencia and can’t wait to get the hell out of here and away from the noise!

Fallas has just begun, so there are a lot of events coming up… Here are some of them:

  • Everyday at 2pm, the Grand Mascletà in Plaza del Ayuntamiento
  • March 6th: Mascletà Napolitana at Las Arenas beach (highly recommended) starts at 6pm
  • March 6th: Turning on the famous street lights of Calle Sueca at 9pm (we’re not sure of that time — can anyone confirm?)
  • March 6th: Cabalgata del Ninot starts at 10:30pm, ending with a color Mascletà in the Ayuntamiento
  • March 7th: Cant de l’Estoreta is a neat little kids parade at 11am which ends with a Mini Mascletà

We’ll let you know about more events after the weekend, otherwise it’s just too much. For last-minute event updates, keep your eye on our twitter account: @valenciablog

And if you have any information or tips about this Fallas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re always looking for a good Fallas story. And if you’ve got a good spot to watch a Mascletà, fireworks or the Cremà, hook us up!

Anyone else in Fallas fever?

Best Youth Hostel for Fallas / What is Fallas?

Fallas T-Shirt 2010 shirt
Fallas T-Shirt 2010 by valenciashirt
design your own shirt on zazzle.com

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March 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm Comment (1)

Pelota, Cabalgata, Mascletà: A Busy Sunday

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February is coming to a close, which means that party time is slowly gearing up. Fallas is right around the corner, and it’s impossible to miss the vibe starting to grip the city.

mano-de-pelota

This Sunday, we enjoyed a very Valencian day. It started with a pilota match at the trinquet Pelayo (location). My hands hurt after a few minutes of watching that sport. We watched a couple matches, the whole time feeling self-conscious. All the spectators knew each other, and all the players knew everyone in the stands. It was like we’d crashed a family reunion. But the game is fast-moving and fun to watch, so we just tried to ignore our condition as outsiders.

Later in the afternoon, we saw a bit of the Cabalgata Infantil — a children’s parade that is not at all interesting unless you have children of your own. Which we don’t. It ended with something you probably shouldn’t bring small kids to: a massively loud color mascletà, at around 8pm.

Mascletàs (video and picture in the following post), parades, pilota… man, and it’s not even March yet. Maybe we should pace ourselves a bit.

Pelota pictures also featuring Fallera Mayor and Fallera Mayor Infantil 2010:

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Pilota in the Trinquete de Pelayo 2009

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February 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm Comments (0)

2010 Ninot Exhibition

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Psst. Hey, you. Yeah you, with the shifty eyes and trench coat. You wanna see some sexy ninots? Sure you do, partner. We got your sexy ninots right here.

erotic-ninot

One of our favorite traditions has become the pre-Fallas Ninot Exhibition at Nuevo Centro. With each additional year, we become more adept at spotting the various Valencian politicians, media figures and celebrities being mocked. This year, popular targets were Rita Bárbera, the Financial Crisis, Levante UD (celebrating 100 years), Zapatero and Obama. Shockingly we only found one Michael Jackson ninot, but it was quite well done.

There are hundreds of ninots on display in the exhibition — each of Valencia’s 600-something Fallas commissions chooses their favorite to be shown early to the public, and possibly win reprieve. Visitors get to vote on their favorite ninot, and the winner is spared a fiery death at the end of Fallas.

It’s an Asian kind of year, apparently, as we noticed a lot of figures inspired by Chinese tradition and Japanese anime. Overall, there seemed to be more perversion this year — ninots really ranged between sickeningly sentimental and sickeningly sexual. Guess which we liked better!

Location on our Valencia Map

Previous Ninot Exhibits: 2008 / 2009

What is Fallas?

Get your Fallas accommadtion sorted: HotelsBnB’sHostels for Fallas

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Fallas T-Shirt 2010 shirt
Fallas T-Shirt 2010 by valenciashirt
Make customized tee shirts at zazzle
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February 10, 2010 at 11:54 am Comments (7)

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