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Virgin De Los Desamparados: Mascletà

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Today’s mascletà in honor of the Virgin was a small, proficient display at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. There was no cage, which provided us with a great view of the explosions. Though it wasn’t exactly on the scale of the Fallas mascletàs, there wasn’t much of a crowd, so we got a great view and a really fun video. Enjoy!

If you are normally not a big fan of the 5 minute long Mascletà videos I urge you to watch the short (best part) version of today’s Mascletà:

And here the full length:

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May 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm Comments (4)

Our Lady of the Forsaken

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This weekend, always on the second Sunday in May, Valencia celebrates its patron saint, Our Lady of the Forsaken. The city’s most insane religious procession takes place on Sunday morning, and there are a few other events to keep your eye on.

Concert, Fireworks and Dance at Plaza de la Virgen – Saturday Night
At 11pm, the Municipal Band of Valencia takes the stage at the Plaza de la Virgen for a free, open-air concert, to kick off the weekend’s festivities. It’s very pleasant, in stark contrast to the music which will soon fill the square. After they’ve finished, a short but impressive fireworks display will be shot off over the Turia. It’s visible from the plaza, but if you want an unobstructed view, you should head down to the riverbed.

After the fireworks have ended, folkloric music, castanets, elaborate costumes, and dancing fill the plaza in an interminable dance. Hundreds of falleros prance to the squealing, whistling sounds of flutes and other woodwinds. The musicians play the same song over and over, and I promise, you won’t be able to get it out of your head for days. And you will want to, desperately.

Check out our 2009 coverage of the dance & fireworks

Open Air Mass – Sunday Morning
Taking place at the ungodly hour of 5am, la misa descubierta is only for early risers, and guilt-ridden late-night party people. It takes place at the Royal Chapel, and since we’ve never gone and never will, I won’t comment further.

The Traslado – Sunday, 10:30am
This is the highlight of the festival, and one of the absolute must-see events on the calendar. Even the non-religious can’t help but be moved by the spectacle of the Virgen de los Desamaparados being carried from her Basilica to the Cathedral. It’s a very long 200 meters, from door to door, with the path being obstructed by thousands of rabid Catholics clamoring to touch the virgin, who will stop at nothing. With rose petals raining down from the balconies, true believers crying and shaking, desperate parents literally throwing their babies at the statues, the men buckling under the virgin’s weight as come perilously close to dropping her over and over… it’s a sight you can’t miss. Incredible. If you’re not sure, just check out our 2008 & 2009 coverage.

Mascletà – Sunday, 14:00
The cage is gone and this mascletà should be a great one.

Official Procession – Sunday, 18:30
It has the Virgin, but none of the craziness. This is a long, solemn and much calmer parade. The end is nice, when the bishop and important politicians walk by, with Our Lady hot on their heels, but until then, it’s just so many ladies dressed in black, and dudes in suits. The route goes like this:

Pl. Virgen, Caballeros, Tossal, Bolsería, Mercado, María Cristina, San Vicente, Pl. Reina, Mar, Avellanas, Palau, Almoina

Ronda a la Verge – Monday, 20:30
On Monday evening, there’s more traditional music on the menu in the Pl. Virgen. Grab a seat at one of the cafés, and allow yourself to unwind from a crazy weekend.

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May 7, 2010 at 9:59 am Comments (0)

This Was Fallas 2010

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What is Fallas?

old-people-making-out

This will be our final post about Fallas 2010 and then we’ll shut up about it… for 3 months or so! Below, you’ll find links to all the posts of this year’s Fallas festivities and some pictures which we hadn’t published yet.

Mascletàs of 2010:

And….

Special Selection Fallas:

The remaining random Fallas pictures in no specific order:

churros

 grass-hoppers

 alice-in-wonderland

paulaner-fallas

flying-goose

fallas-doll

naked-angels

rapunzel

valencian-shoes

fallera-infantil

not-feeling-fallas

super-cute-Fallera

the-art-of-churros

fallas-street-lights

how-to-deal-with-the-crisis

valencian-BBQ

BBQ-Spain

bunuela

gay-valencia

constructing-the-virgin

John-Lennon-lives-in-Valenc 

magic-in-Valencia

real-demon-in-Valencia

peter-punk

slutty-snow-white

happy-sun-valencia

first-price-valencia-fallas

rita-fallas-host

bird-falleras

ayuntamiento-fallas-2010

servicio-limpieza

fiesta-fallera

classic-falla-valencia

canovas-fallas

fallas-2012

child-kidnapping

 firework-set-up

turia-fireworks

fallas-outsiders

hola-Valencia

fallas-stock-image

fiddle-fun

fallero-Fallas-2010

fallas-fotografo

erklaerung-fallas

secrotos-fallas

fort-pavesos

washing-underwear

valencia-orgy

underwear-flag

super-falleras

the-dude

 soccer-ruzafa

falleros-fotbal

banda-ruzafa

ghost-spain

pumpkin

giant-paella

paella-magnet

happy-old-people

chocolate-churros

mascleta-la-bomba

how-to-set-up-mascleta

bunuelo-tienda

crisis-donation

bubble-fest

 paella-fiesta

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

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May 6, 2010 at 8:43 am Comments (7)

Fallas 2010: Miniature Street Mascletàs

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pyro-gang

Right after the last official mascletà of Fallas, a lot of commissions shoot off their own street mascletàs. While we sat down to lunch, the rhythmic, explosive sounds in the background accompanied our meal, like strange & special dinner music!

The great people from Freaky Pyromaniacs went around town and filmed a couple miniature mascletàs:

Do you want to attend a street mascletà? Well, make sure to read these tips first!

Here are some more street Mascletà aftermath pictures:

mascleta-ruzafa

Miniatur-Mascleta

Youth Hostel Ruzafa

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March 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm Comments (0)

Fallas 2010: Ultima Mascletà March 19th

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ultima-mascleta-2010

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

The last of Fallas’s mascletàs is always something special — it’s only too bad that the weather didn’t play along nicely for the crowd, or for Pirotecnia Caballer.

Before I get to praising the mascletà, lemme just complain about one thing: Spanish people and their umbrellas! They simply don’t care about whose views they’re obstructing, or whose faces they’re poking. This lady in front of us nearly put my dad’s eyes out 50 times. When we asked her to be a little more careful, she responded with a dismissive shrug, and continued to wave her umbrella around haphazardly. And did she put it down when the fireworks began? Ha!! She raised the fucking thing higher! Ours was hardly a unique situation. The same thing was happening all over the plaza, confirming my theory: elderly Spanish people could really care less about anyone else.

But the mascletà? It was AWESOME! The shock waves were so tremendous that you could see the umbrellas vibrating. We loved it from beginning to end, and it was almost enough to erase our annoyance at the Umbrella People. Almost.

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



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March 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm Comment (1)

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