I’m so sorry that this post came late! I had a huge marketing quiz on Thursday and spent all of my free time studying. Look at me being a responsible student! How did it go you may be wondering? Well. My mom and dad say they’ll love me no matter what so it doesn’t really matter now does it!?
ANYWAYS. Last weekend I travelled to Valencia, Spain for the festival called Las Fallas. I’ll admit that I don’t know every detail about the festival or exactly why they do it, but here’s what I do know:
- The festival is to celebrate Saint Joseph (the patron saint of carpenters)
- A lot of people dress up as Fallas queens and kings and they parade through the streets
- There is a huge statue of Mary that they decorate with flowers (which is absolutely beautiful)
- There is a lot of noise & fire
- It was incredible!
Each neighborhood creates what’s called a “ninot”. These ninots are enormous figures made out of cardboard, wood, polyurethane, Styrofoam, cork, plaster and paper-maché and they have a deeper meaning or relevance to the neighborhood. (Most of them were satirical and while we didn’t understand a lot of them, we did see Trump’s familiar face a few times)
Here are a few of my favorites:
Festival or War Zone?
A big part of this festival was the firecrackers. Beginning with a wake up call explosion at 8am, the firecrackers were set off all day and into the wii hours of the morning. (I still don’t know when people slept)
Every day at 2pm was “La Mascletà” which included a huge firecracker display in the main square. Now, I’ve been to concerts, and I’ve stood too close to the speakers at school dances, and I’ve even been to the race track a few times. But this had to be the LOUDEST thing I have ever experienced! & we weren’t even that close to the explosions!
** They tell you to keep your mouth open so the sound doesn’t echo around your head causing your ears to bleed. Just let that sink in.**
And the firecrackers weren’t only set off at all hours, but they were set off everywhere! You’d just be walking down the street and all of a sudden a firecracker explodes five feet away from you. It was crazy! (Also if you’re easily startled by loud noises, like me, this is a very jumpy festival)
Burn, Baby, Burn!
My favorite part of the festival, though, was when everything BURNED! I know that’s a real shocker coming from a pyromaniac.. but it was honestly so cool. There is a vote for the best ninot and the winner is the only one spared. All of the others meet their fate.
But in an AWESOME way!
Basically what happens is they set off a line of firecrackers that circles the structure and the last ones are so close that they set the structure aflame!
The whole thing becomes engulfed in flames in a few seconds and if you stand super close (like we did) the heat from the fire is ridiculous! At one point the firefighters were pushing everyone back because the fire got so big, and I was pretty sure I had lost my eyebrows!
The Air BnB we stayed in was actually in Puerto de Sagunto, which is right outside Valencia, so we were right by the water. Luckily the weather was so nice that we got to spend most of Sunday morning/afternoon laying on the beach! It was so relaxing and we had a beautiful view! (the tan lines are just a bonus)
Overall, my weekend in Valencia was incredible. I honestly think it’s tied with Paris for the top trip so far! The food was great, the people were awesome, and it was an amazing experience to get to be a part of this cultural celebration! (& did I mention I got a Pina colada?)