Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Parades And Falleras

This morning I was woken in bed at 8.30am, an ungodly hour in my world - ahem, cough, blush etc - by the desperta, which literally means "waking up" in Spanish, and is a traditional way to start the fiesta day. Firecrackers are let off all over town, see above, and the sound booms and reverberates between the high rise buildings, sounding more like cannon fire!

Today in Benidorm it is a day of fallas parades - but as usual I have no clue when anything starts, as the official calendar of events is less than useful, grrr - so instead I am posting some pictures from the Internet of the beautiful falleras, in their customary fiesta costumes.

As you can see from this close-up, their jewellery and intricate hairstyles are just as important as the dresses themselves,

and I particularly like this pretty fallera, with a crucifix in her hair, smiling outside the huge Plaza de Toros (bullring) in Valencia.

Some of the fans the falleras carry are hugely detailed - and very expensive too! which isn't surprising considering the amount of work that must go into them... In Sevilla especially there are many shops dedicated to traditional fans, dresses and headwear, they are beautiful to gaze at through the windows...

Here is a line-up of falleras from a previous year, inside their penya tent - a penya is like a social club, and each district has their own - ready to be judged, and with the yellow, red and blue Comunidad de Valencia sash across their fronts.

These pictures are of the Rincon de Loix parades that I took last year, hanging off the balcony of my previous apartment to catch the best glimpses!
The ladies are accompanied by a fantastic marching band,

and for the floats with children on, it is customary to throw sweets into the crowd.

To round up the day, what could be better than the regional dish of paella, served with juicy pieces of chicken and vegetables, or fresh seafood, and accompanied by thick wedges of lemon to squeeze over the rice. The paellas are often cooked in a large black pan on the side of the road, precariously connected to a gas bottle... But boy do they taste good!

Or for those with a sweet tooth, maybe you would prefer to sample these sweet, crispy churros, that taste similar to a donut,

which - like good old English fish 'n' chips - are always best eaten from a paper cone on the street, mmm - but churros are better covered in lashings of sugar of course, and not salt & vinegar! Lol....

The Spanish also traditionally eat churros in the house for breakfast, or as a snack; usually with a cup of the thickest, sweetest hot chocolate known to man - I'm pretty sure it must be the rule that if your spoon can't stand up unaided in your cup, then it's not worth the bother!

Hope you've enjoyed my blog today, and please feel free to drop in tomorrow too! x


  1. Wonder if I should try my hair in all those `plaity` things, lol lovely blog, loved that lacey headdress affair and the fan, so nice, I`ll have a cone of the churros please with plenty of sugar...xxx

  2. Oh I meant to say, loved the penguins, played with them for ages, ahh so sweetxxx

  3. Oh I'll be back tomorrow for sure.

    Those hairdos are amazing - and the girls so pretty in their costumes. What wonderful culture - thanks for sharing.

  4. I have some friends who live in the valleys of the Sierra Nevada - they are renovating an old olive mill. We stayed there last year and went to one of the village fiestas - it was amazing and, as you say the firecrackers were like bombs - the dogs and cats fled en masse when it started.
    But the parade, and the beautiful ladies were just like your photos.
    I tried to make churros back here but they just weren't the same!