Stormy Weather

Woah!!!! Last night we had a humdinger of a storm here with rain, lightening, and lots of WIND!!!! This morning the countryside is littered with debris. There are still lots of clouds around so I think there may be more in store for us which may interfere with the internet. So I am writing nice and early just in case we go into blackout mode.

Life in Spain has many advantages, not least the madness of some of the fiestas. One of the major celebrations in this region takes place in Valencia, is called Las Fallas and has just finished on Monday evening. Basically, local communities get together and build huge structures out of flammable material. The design is a parody of a theme and can be hilarious, rude, satirical or just beautiful. Over a three day period these structures are positioned all over the city. Usually there are about 360 ish of them. The streets of the city are closed and visitors can wander around looking at all of these displays. In each community’s display there is usually a big one and a children’s one and believe me dear reader they are truly magnificent. They take a year to design and build and on the final evening they are burnt to the ground. Everyone stands around and tries to get as close to the fires as they can.  How mad is that?

As if that isn’t enough every day at lunchtime there is a mascleta which is an unbelieveably loud display of firecrackers which my daughter describes as sounding like war has broken out. These are so loud that the ground literally shakes beneath your feet. Everyone converges onto the main city square to witness the mascleta and there can be hundreds of thousands of people there.

At night there are incredible firework displays and as Valencia is known as the city of fireworks you can imagine how impressive they are.

On top of all of this are the locals dressed in amazing Spanish costumes who carry real flowers to a square and with them build the skirt of a gigantic Virgin Mary. The smell of the flowers is wonderful and the sight is memorizing.

If anyone is ever able to visit Valencia between the 16th and 19th March it is an amazing fiesta to see and it is impossible to describe how wonderful Las Fallas is.

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