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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Xativa Fallas - La Crema

On (Saturday) 19th March, the burning of the Fallas takes place. In Valencia, this is a huge affair, with nearly 1,000 fallas scattered through the city. In Xativa, of course, it is a much smaller affair, and more friendly.

We arrived a little early, and had a hot chocolate in the Avenue, listening to the sounds of fireworks and crackers going off everywhere. (I did comment to Ed, that it was like living in Benghazi at the moment.) People of all ages were throwing crackers, small children, teenagers and adults. Sometimes they were thrown in shop doorways, so that the echo was louder. Garage entries were even worse!

The first of the fallas are burnt at 9pm, as these are the children's ones. The larger ones are lit much later. At about 11pm, the ones in the centre of town were lit (having burnt some of those further away first). It was astonishing to see how quickly they burnt, being made mostly of polystyrene. Thankfully, we were up-wind, so didn't get the noxious effect of the black, acrid smoke.

We stayed to the end, watching the winner being burnt last, at about 2am. We went home exhausted, ready to fall into bed, while Xativa was getting ready to party!

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