It’s time for another blog post, although this one comes a little later than usual. This week has been full of fiesta, starting with Nou d’Octubre (as explained last week), followed by the Día de la hispanidad (like our St George’s day, but people actually celebrate it) which was the 12th of October- the day Columbus discovered America 524 years ago. This was followed by the festes del poble (Town fiestas) in Carcaixent (Laura’s town) which celebrate the founding of the town on the day of the Virgen d’Aigues Vives (The patron of the town). It’s been a week of concerts, discos, fireworks, and best of all… Mascletàs!

For anyone who doesn’t know, València has a love affair with fireworks. Wedding? Firecrackers. Baptism? Firecrackers. Public celebrations? Fireworks. Every important event in a Valencian’s life will usually have a traca (a long line of firecrackers ignited for example at the end of a baptism or a wedding). It is a  region that celebrates everything, and it does this as loudly as possible! A Mascletà is a sort of daytime fireworks show, lasting normally around 6 minutes, in which hundreds and hundreds of fireworks are let off. The purpose is to create a rhythm, starting slowly and building up to a constant bombardment of noise. The last part, known as the terratrèmol (earthquake) makes the ground shake with the force of the gunpowder. The mascletà has always been my favourite part of Falles, and there is one every day during the first 19 days of March.

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The aftermath of the Mascletà

This mascletà has given me so much more excitement for Falles (even though I didn’t think that was possible!), that even though they are around 5 months away I think it’s time to start a countdown! So, at the time of writing this line, 148 days until FALLAS!

Another thing to note, Fireworks displays in València are not like fireworks in England. Even though this was in a relatively small town, it was like the NYE fireworks in London, but on steroids. (Also, I don’t know how to rotate the photos so sorry about that!)

Then to celebrate the end of the fiestas, I made Pimms for Laura’s family, styling it as “English Sangria” and telling myself that it was okay to be drinking Pimms in October because it’s still 30ºC outside! The English Sangria went down well so I guess I had better bring some more bottles over!

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However… Not everything has gone swimmingly this week! In this country that I am learning to love even more with every day that goes by, I have found a HUGE problem. Their tea stinks! Last week I went to Mercadona and left feeling incredibly pleased with myself, having finally found, among the weird, horrible herbal “teas” a proper English brew. I almost ran home, desperate to have a cuppa, dodging trams and cars as I sped across the 10 lane Avinguda dels Tarongers separating me from my kettle. Oh the disappointment that awaited me. It doesn’t matter if you leave the teabag in for 1 minute or for 10, the cup of grey water and milk mixture (and I hardly put in any milk, I like builder’s tea!) lacked taste. I wouldn’t even dunk a digestive in there for fear of insulting the poor biscuit. In fact, it is so uninspiring that I have now managed to forget about it on three separate occasions and ended up with a cold cup. So now you know Mum, if you’re reading this… All I want for Christmaaaas, is teeeeea!

Fallas Countdown: 149 days

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