The weekend after the Fallas festival…. all I can say is that I don’t know whether I am more tired of being sick with the cold, or tired from the endless parties that we were invited too.  The sickness couldn’t have come at a worse time, just when the festivities were starting to kick off, the husband and I seem to have caught something, which has put a little dampener on things. Apart from missing the ‘Nit del Foc’ & ‘La Cremà, we still manage to attend some events at our village.  At the start of the Fallas, our village organised a paella concurso, a popular event in  Valencian communities.  The whole town attends this noisy, but a spectacular social event. We got to the main square at about midday, the streets were already filled with people taking part in the competition, fires were lit, paella pans at the ready and loud bangs of the fireworks echoed along the narrow streets.

Fallas Balcony View
Fallas Balcony View

As expected, the boys were very excited getting their hands on some petardos.  It takes a while to get used to the noise, but it doesn’t seem to bother the boys one bit. My 6-year-old stuck with the ‘Bombetas’ (floor bangers) which I was happy with, my 13-year-old was allowed to use the bigger ones, but with caution, thankfully no fingers are lost.  Giving my kids the freedom to use fireworks is still pretty new to me, I’m keeping an open mind, and I could clearly see the joy on my boy’s faces, so it’s something I can get used to.

The loud bangs, party atmosphere and music filled the small streets of my town, there is no denying that the mood is contagious. As we exchanged hellos to out friends, it was pretty obvious that Valencians love celebrating events like these with close family and friends.  And if you manage to stay up until 6 am in the morning, then you know first hand how hardcore the Valencians are when it comes to partying!

This is all well and good, but for us, it’s a little too much, considering that parties don’t really start until after 12 am and no matter how hard we have tried it’s just something we still can’t get used to (yet!). I mean is there a trick to this? Is it possible for a non-Spanish family to get used to the very late fiesta schedule? I’d like to know!

A very popular event in all Valencian towns is the paella concurso. Once or twice a year in my village they hold a paella cooking event on the streets.  As much as it’s a competition, everyone doesn’t seem to mind who wins, it is simply an excuse to spend Sunday with friends, family and the whole community.

The schools also get very involved with the celebrations. This year’s theme were famous musicians, the children were given the task to create their own ninot and come to school dressed in the traditional Valencian costume.

During the celebrations the children were also given hot chocolate & churros, this is the part my 6-year-old really love! So as you can see, even though we did not see the bigger events in the city, our Fallas week was still pretty jammed pack, and maybe next year I will be able to write more about the whole event in the city, on the top of my list is watching the ‘Nit del Foc’, if I ever manage to stay awake until 1:30 am.  But, apparently, it’s worth it!

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British/Filipina now living in Valencia, Spain. Mum, wife, designer and illustrator. I am also the author of Ohla Living where I share my lifestyle, travel, recipes and creative ideas.

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