Last night was the first mascleta of Fallas. Even though Fallas didn’t actually start until tonight at Torres de Serrano, last night they shot off the tallest mascleta in history. A mascleta are crazy loud fireworks that go off on a regular basis during Fallas. The history making one last night was in the marina and could be heard for 10 minutes throughout the city. Yes, it’s that loud.
Regular mascletas will go off on a daily basis in the city center at 2pm, and on the weekends they’ll also do nocturna’s at around midnight that will inspire others across the city to light them until the wee hours. Like last year, it will get very old very quickly. But for now, we’re still enjoying watching all the lights on the local streets being strung up in preparation for the local Fallas societies to erect their fallas; large and small. Including the one for infantils. We’ll post pictures of the best ones when they go up.
It’s put us in the community spirit, so when our door bell rang today – yes, we said ‘Did you order something’ simultaneously – but then when we opened the door we found a crowd in our hallway and they weren’t trick or treaters. Our local neighborhood Fallas organization was at the door with mini Fallera and Falleros soliciting donations for all that they do throughout the year. Marching bands, outfits that cost thousands, and those amazing effigies that will start going up in a couple of weeks.
Jeff and I quickly went through out change dish and gave a hearty donation to the cause – we have bowls of Euro coins we hate carrying in our wallets. And in return we were given two Valencian flags to wave at various parades that will be marching down our streets. Now we’ll have to carry them for the next few weeks just in case we encounter an unexpected procession. There will be many.
Since we’re in the spirit of supporting our local community, it’s good we had tickets to the Levante v. Real Madrid match at Arena tonight. It was sold out ages ago. I had tried to buy them at the box office but the lady just laughed. Then one of the girls on my soccer team has a boyfriend with season passes. He couldn’t use them and she offered them to me. It worked out well because I was sick on Valentines Day, so while Jeff did the flowers, candy and a gift that I love, I gave him the gift of taking care of me. It felt like I could make up for it with these tickets.
You can’t go to a game without the proper gear supporting the home team. So with Jeff sporting his new jersey and me with my new scarf, we made our way down to join our fellow Valencian’s to cheer on our beloved (?) home team against the dreaded Real Madrid, 3rd in the league. And we are now rabid Levante U.D. supporters. No doubt about it.
Our team played brilliantly, and that assessment is not because we’re their newest fans. Real Madrid did the usual flopping and whining, and the calls seemed to go their way – A LOT. This only endeared us to our neighborhood team and we booed Real Madrid’s bad behavior along with everyone else, and cheered when we scored the only real goal of the night (Real Madrid scored 2 on penalties that should never have been called – just saying).
It was so FUN! And the experience is more about the game and less about the vendors and merchandise in the stadium. No purveyors of food and drink hawking it in the aisles throughout the match. It was more like a high school football game, as far as vending, than any professional sport in the US. Quite refreshing. And even though we lost, we had a great time. And it doesn’t hurt that we live so close to the stadium that we were home in 10 minutes getting warm.
So some people kick off Fallas in the traditional way. Tonight we kicked it off with fubol along with a few ten thousand of our local friends. I think we chose the right track.