The Ofrenda

Las Fallas is a 3-week festival. For days and days we enjoyed spotting many lovely falleras and chicas (ladies and children) walking around in full costume. It was difficult not to want to take a picture every time we saw one of them. The richly patterned dresses are beautiful, as are the shoes, combs in the braided hair and jewelry. The falleras are out in public during Las Fallas to draw attention to their community falla.

March 17 was absolutely a day we marked on our calendar to be sure we would be downtown. On this date began a parade (that occurred over two days) of the thousands of costumed men, women and children winding their way to The Virgin structure. It was truly a beautiful spectacle as each community walked past followed by their respective community bands. It was a great display and the fallera’s and chica’s dresses were gorgeous.

We were amazed at the colors of the dresses. Julia liked the variety of the men’s costumes (she kept saying, “Ooh! What a great Halloween costume.”)

We read that there were nearly 106,000 costumed participants, as well as the accompanying bands that were in the parade this year. Each woman or girl in the parade carrying a bouquet of flowers to use as an offering (ofrenda). The offerings would decorate a 60-80’ tall massive wooden structure representing The Virgin. The finished decorated Virgin was truly a sight to see. The whole experience was uplifting and glorious.

In addition to the main structure, now adorned in flowers, there was also nearly 200 5-6’ large magnificent flower arrangements placed around the square that had been donated by the participating communities and cities. The entire square was wonderfully fragrant with the scent from all the fresh flowers. We loved this part of the festival.

Salut from these valencianos,

Ted & Julia

(click on any picture to go to slideshow view)

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