Las Fallas in Valencia

bridge by the river

The city is shaking off the soberness of winter this week with its traditional fiesta of Las Fallas on March 15-19, 2012.

fallas

The week-long celebration in honor of St. Joseph features a special event for each day.  There are marching bands, fireworks, floats and costumes and food.  The festival has an Iberian flavor, embracing the culture and vibrancy of Valencians.

Some city in the U.S. should embrace this five-day festival.  It could really go over well in San Diego or San Antonio–with the food, architecture and warm weather.

La Desperta  is a marching band wake up call for the city every morning during the fiesta.  On March 15, it’s the Planta when groups complete their floats or fallas for parades.

fireworks

On March 17-18, is the Ofrenda when revelers wear costumes, and with their fallas take flowers to a statue of the Virgin Mary.  The flowers are used to make a dress.  La Mascleta is daily fireworks displays during the festival, until March 18.  March 18 is la Nit de Foc, the Night of Fire, with a grand fireworks display.  On March 19, is la Crema the finale to Las Fallas.  The Crema begins after 10 p.m. when the fallas or floats are set ablaze.

Valencia is well-known for its oranges and sherry and Las Fallas.  It also has the distinction of being the city where paella was created.

Just a short ride from the downtown, are the Arenas and Malvarossa beaches where you

can roller skate, stroll or catch some rays.  The bars and cafes near the beaches serve fish stew, calamares (squid) and paella.

The cafés and clubs serve a popular cocktail, Agua de Valencia, made of champagne, orange juice (you are in Valencia orange country) vodka and gin.  Another popular beverage in town is horchata made from the non-alcoholic local tiger nuts.

If you are visiting Valencia for Las Fallas, you can soak up the arts and culture that is a mix of old and new in the town.  There are many markets and streets for shopping— the Mercado Central, Mercado de Colon, and Plaza Redonda.

Ah, it would magnifico to have a Las Fallas in the U.S. too.

Buenos Las Fallas Valencia!   Happy St. Joseph’s Day!  Muy bonita ciudad!

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