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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Festes - Carnival Queens

On Friday night, we attended the presentation of the Queens, Captains and Ambassadors. On the main stage in the park, there were big screens set up and camera's everywhere. Not suprisingly, there were no signs of life at 10pm, apart from lines of chairs in front of the stage.

Once procedings began, the frst queens to be introduced were the young children. They seemed to be about 6 or 7 years old. All of them where in white, and were accompanied by equally young brothers or friends. The final one to arrive was the one that was then crowned queen for 2009. The same proceedure followed for the older girls.

In essence, these are 'debutantes'. All of them are 18 years old during this year, and in later years, when older Festival queens are called for to attend a function, then those from the same peer group will attend. For example, when they are all 40, they will attend a function along with those that were first presented along with them, aged 18. This is a very special year for each of them, and the families that were involved made a big show of it. Houses had beautiful flower arches around their doors, and/or red carpets outside the houses. The girls that were to be presented stood outside the houses so that all of the neighbours could see them and congratulate them.

As each winning queen (child and adult) received her crown, there was then a huge firework display. Thereafter, there were parties and discos in the streets and the town was still partying at 5am!

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