Prepare: Fiesta for La Virgen de los Desamparados

Fallas seems as though it were just yesterday, but there can apparently be no rest in this city.

On the second Sunday of May, the festivals celebrating Our Lady of the Forsaken (La Virgen de los Desamparados) begin. Actually, the festivities truly begin the day before.

Mostly for ourselves, we’ve compiled a list of events ordered by day. Planning begins now! Use this as your cheat sheet to the party. And don’t forget that we’re “Virgen de los Desamparados”-virgins, so let us know if we’ve got any information mixed up or have forgotten something important.

Saturday, May 10th

  • Orchestral Concert in the Plaza de la Virgen
  • Fireworks near the Torres de Serrano at midnight, following the concert
  • Danzà, in which more than 200 pairs dance in honor of the Virgen
  • The beginning of pilgrimages from many outlying towns into Valencia

Their will be crowds accumulating from 8pm onward, but the true action won’t begin until around 11pm.

Sunday, May 11th

  • Church services at 5am (!!!) and 8am
  • The Traslado: the move of the Virgin from the basilica to the nearby cathedral at 10:30am. Hordes of believers will be doing their best to touch Her Holiness during the move.
  • At 18:30 is the Official Procession, during which thousands of Valencians in traditional garb will be parading down the streets, while onlookers shower them with rose petals thrown from balconies.

Monday, May 12th

  • Traditional Market in the Plaza de la Reina, lasting all day.
  • At 20:30, two hours of choral music & regional dancing in the Plaza de la Virgen

Thursday, May 15th

  • Festival of the Florists, during which the temple will be completely adorned with flowers.

Wednesday, May 21st

  • Besamanos Público which marks the end of the festival. Unbelievable queues of people wishing to kiss the hand of the Virgin will form, beginning at 7am.

Of course, there are daily events during the course of festival, but most are entirely religious and boring not for us. Those listed above seem to be the highlights.

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