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Easter Sunday Procession in Cabanyal

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Bright, warm, sunny weather? IT’S AN EASTER SUNDAY MIRACLE!!

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Hooray! After Friday’s procession was canceled due to the inclement weather, it was wonderful to have a beautiful Easter Sunday. At 1 in the afternoon, the most colorful and upbeat of Valencia’s Semana Santa Marinera events got underway.

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A large crowd was on hand to watch and cheer over thirty brotherhoods, who had their hoods off and marched along to fun pasodobles while handing out flowers. Apparently the way to get a flower is to (a) scream “Guapa!” at the marcher of your choosing and (b) be a woman.

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This was a very long parade, but everyone seemed content to have an excuse to stay outside and soak up the sun. Hope all our readers had a great Easter weekend!

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April 13, 2009 at 3:50 pm Comments (2)

Fallas 2009: The Flower Offering to the Virgin

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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)

Cant de l’Estoreta – Valencia 2009

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Thinking back on the Cant de l’Estoreta 2008, we had no clue what Fallas really was. This year’s kids parade in Carmen seemed even longer than last year’s. It went on forever! I don’t know how those little Falleras, for whom the parade is staged, manage to stay awake through the whole thing. Next year we plan on sitting outside a bar close to Torres de Serrano and enjoy it even more with a couple of beers.

Can anyone fill us in on the origins and meaning of this parade? There always seem to be a ton of authors and painters honored… And most importantly, what is the deal with the old furniture they drag on carpets down the streets?

Now, enjoy our pictures of some extremely cute kids!

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Many more images here:

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March 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm Comments (3)

Procession of the Three Kings

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We’ve all been to those parades where candy is thrown into the crowd. The throwers, perched atop shoddily-constructed floats, are usually weak-wristed children who can barely launch the treats past the first row, and you’re lucky if you end up with a single crushed Jolly Rancher picked up off the street.

Well, the procession of the Three Kings (Reyes Magos), held on January 5th all over Spain, does not disappoint candy-seekers. In fact, by the middle of Valencia’s parade, we found ourselves seeking shelter, praying that the devastating rain of candy would finally stop. It never did.

I’ve never seen anything like it. You didn’t even have to try and catch the candy that was thrown, because it would inevitably catch you — in the hood if you were lucky, but we saw more than one unfortunate get whacked in the forehead.

And they weren’t just passing out candy, but also toys. Real toys, worth actual money. Just throwing them into the crowd! As the float for the Valencian football team passed, a plush cuddly “I Love Valencia” heart was tossed right at Juergen and I. Neither of us are proficient catchers, and it bobbled out of my hands, into Juergen’s hands, and finally onto the ground where a little girl picked it up. She hardly had enough time to smile before we yanked it back away from her. Survival of the fittest, sweetie.

This parade, in short, was insane and incredibly fun. If you happen to be in Spain on the 5th of January, it’s something you absolutely must not miss.


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January 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm Comments (2)

Arrival of the Three Kings of the Orient

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The biblical Three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar arrive today onto the shores of Malvarrosa, at 5pm.


Journey of the Magi (1902) by James Tissot

Spanish tradition puts the three kings (Reyes Magos) into the role served by Santa Claus in the USA: bringing presents, treats and toys to children.

Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar arrive on a boat, and will be welcomed in a ceremony at the port, before being brought to Paseo Alameda. There, they’ll preside over a huge parade, slated for 6pm this afternoon.

The parade will take the kings down Alameda, over the Calatrava bridge, down C/ Paz, through the Plaza de la Reina, and eventually to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where they’ll be greeted at approximately 20h by Valencia’s mayor, Rita Barbará. It sounds as though it’s going to be an impressive parade, with over 40 floats, thousands of participants and the stated goal of “delighting children”.

Sorry about the late notice. I’m used to the Holidays ending on January 1st, and this event sneaked up on me!

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January 5, 2009 at 9:41 am Comments (2)