It turns out that these are the Fallas that keep on giving me regalitos (little presents), this time in the form of an extra Mascletà to replace one that was suspended due to the storms in the days before Fallas. Get in!

Wednesday, I went to Castellón to meet up with a bunch of the other teachers to see another fiesta from the Comunidad Valenciana, the Magdalena. It commemorates the founding of the city in 1251, when the townspeople came down from the hills to the fertile plains at night to start to live there. They created gaiatas to hang torches from and joined themselves together with green rope so that they wouldn’t get separated in the darkness. However, when they explained the story to me, all I could think of was how much easier it would have been to do this journey in the daytime.

They create gaiatas still, which are ehem ugly ehem. I felt bad thinking this at first, until various other teachers (from Castellón I must add) voiced the same opinion. On a side-note I think I might have become too entrenched in the ways of Fallas because I couldn’t understand why the gaiatas weren’t burnt at the end of the festival (like the fallas are). Shame… However, the good part of the festival is that there are also Mascletaes there, meaning that I’ve gone from the sadness of knowing I wouldn’t see another Mascletà for two years at least, to having seen two more this week! I love this Year Abroad gig!

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Gaiata. Still not sure why they don’t get burnt because they are ugly.

Then on Saturday, Laura’s dad decided that we should go to Castellón to see the Magdalena, meaning I got another extra Mascletà! Although this one only really counts as half because it was pretty rubbish! So I’ve managed to see 3 (2.5) Mascletàs this week as an added bonus.

On Saturday, the main event in the Magdalena was the Muixeranga, which is basically groups of people competing to see who can make the highest human tower. The smallest in the group, usually a 6-8 year old girl, climbs around 10m into the air and balances on top of the shoulders of the person below. I’m not going to lie, they definitely have bigger cojones than I do, I would be absolutely terrified! And yes, sometimes the tower does collapse, leaving the poor young girl to fall 10m or more onto the stone ground, with her only protection beings a helmet and the people below her.

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Muixerangas. The girl at the top of this one did fall about 30 seconds after I took the photo but she was unhurt.

Hopefully, the post-fallas blues will be cured soon enough as we’ve managed to fill April up with a load of trips! First up, a trip to Salamanca, pretty much the other side of Spain, with Laura’s family, before we go to the capital of Aragón, Zaragoza with an organisation called Falles pel món (Fallas throughout the World), which aims to promote the festival by taking it to different cities in Spain (I have no idea what it will be like, but if it gives me the chance to live Fallas again while exploring a new city, I’m all up for it!). Then the weekend after Laura and I go to Madrid to see El Rey León and explore the capital city! And at some point, there’s also Semana Santa to fit it… So once again, another exciting month in store!

 

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