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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:

Fallera-Mayor-2010
fallera-mayor-infantil
2010-Fallera-Mayor
PILAR-GIMENEZ-SANTAMARINA
fallero-fallera-2010
OMG-Falleras
fallera-side-eye
pelota-fallas-2010
jaw-dropping-fallera
fallera-illusion
pelota-fallas-2010
Trinquete-de-Pelayo
winning-pelota
canal-nou-pelota
pelota-Player
group-hug
traditional-pelota-fallero
pelota-2010
pelota-dangerous

Pilota in the Trinquete de Pelayo 2009

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

Pilota in the Trinquete de Pelayo

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pilota-en-valencia

Pilota is one of the most important sports in the Valencian Community. A fast-paced team game which combines elements of tennis, racquetball, and handball, Pilota has been played in the region for centuries. And despite some close cousins (such as Basque pelota), it’s a sport unique to the Valencian Community.

pilota-player

Valencian pilota is played in a long, narrow hall. Athletes hit a hard, round ball with their bare hand (some use minimal protection) over a net to the opposing side. The walls and spectators are in play, and the only rule is that the ball can’t bounce twice on the ground.

That’s right — I said the spectators are in play. One of the unique twists of Valencian pilota is that the crowd sits on benches which are part of the playing field, and right on top of the action.

pilota-platers
watching-pilota

After the despertà on the 22nd, a set of championship games are played in the Pelayo Trinquet — the traditional epicenter of Valencian pilota. The entrance is completely nondescript, and we had walked by hundred times without ever knowing it existed.

We only had enough time to watch the kids play on Sunday, but it was really a fun sporting event to attend. We’ll definitely be going back some day soon to see the adults take the court.

Trinquete de Pelayo
C/ de Pelayo 6
Location on our Valencia Map

This tournament was a part of the day’s official Fallas events, which meant that the Fallera Mayor and her court graced the trinquete with their presence. We managed to get some great pictures of the guapas:

fallera-dress
falleritas
mayor-pilota

fallerito

fallera-mayor-infantil-2009
Fallera Mayor Infantil 2009
Fallera-Mayor-Fallas-09
Fallera Mayor 2009
Falleras-Fallas-2009
fallera-fallas-09
fallera-infantil-Snakc

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February 24, 2009 at 7:25 pm Comments (2)