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Fallas 2010: La Ofrenda

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high-fashion-fallera

During the last couple days of Fallas, thousands of falleras from all over the province make a pilgrimage to Valencia’s Plaza de la Virgen to deliver flowers to Our Lady of the Forsaken, during one of the festival’s most awe-inspiring events: The Ofrenda (The Offering).

You’ve never seen anything like it; traffic in the inner city is completely brought to a halt. That goes for foot traffic, too. Young falleras, old falleras, baby falleras, musicians, cigarrette smoking falleras pushing strollers, hungover falleros, all on their way to the Virgin with flowers.

Once there, the flowers are used to dress the Virgin in dazzling reds, oranges and yellows. Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, it’s difficult to remain unmoved by the sight of the gigantic statue covered in flowers. The tradition is for the falleras who’ve just completed the journey to break out into tears, and many of them do, though a lot of them just pretend to (especially when the camera’s on them!)

Enjoy these great pictures and videos from The Ofrenda — one of our favorite parts of Fallas.

Filmed with the Sanyo VPC – CS 1 (super tiny) available here: USA, UK, Deutschland and Spain

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

Rental Car Valencia

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March 23, 2010 at 9:38 am Comment (1)

Pictures of Batalla de Flores 2009

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These pictures are a little late — the Batalla de Flores was towards the end of July. I was annoyed while taking them, because I had to stand on my tip-toes behind the crowd the whole time. Meanwhile, hundreds of other photographers were running around on the street. Where’s my press pass?! Anyway, onto the pictures. I wonder if you could get away with throwing oranges instead of those flowers…

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Batalla de Flores Pictures 2009Hotels Valencia / Hostels Valencia

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August 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm Comments (0)

Crosses of May

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During the month of May, you won’t be able to miss the beautiful crosses adorned with roses placed throughout the city.

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Actually you might be able to miss them — we didn’t notice them at all last year. But now we’re finding them everywhere. Can’t take a step without tripping over another frigging cross!

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The crosses are put up by festival groups, predominantly Fallas commissions, and are — like almost everything in this city — part of a competition. 84 crosses in Valencia compete for the Premio Extraordinario, which was won last year by the Falla Plaza de la Cruz in Cabanyal (location).

What’s the point? Besides the simple joy of wasting money on beauty, which Valencians seem to revel in, the crosses commemorate the supposed discovery of Christ’s cross by Saint Helena of Constantinople.


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May 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm Comments (0)

Fallas 2009: The Flower Offering to the Virgin

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valencia-black-white-virgin

Getting around the city is a tricky affair on the 17th and 18th of March. On these two days, over 100,000 falleros, falleras and musicians from all around the Valencian community storm towards the Plaza de la Virgen. The parades last around 7 hours on each day.

If you’re late for something, and need to get from one side of the city to another, these parades can be a real nuisance. Yeah, yeah, you’re all very guapa, but please GET OUT OF MY WAY. In order to ensure that the parades don’t extend even further into the night, the police are pretty strict about not allowing pedestrians to cross the street, except during all-too infrequent pauses at specific locations.

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However, if you’re not in a hurry (and during Fallas, being in a hurry is just a formula for frustration), the parades can provide a great break. The music is lively and the falleras proud. And braving the crowd packing into the Plaza de la Virgen, in order to get a glimpse of the men creating the Mare de Deu’s dress of flowers, is something you simply have to do during Fallas.

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March 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm Comments (3)