Is that ninot I see, or is it just a Fallas-y?

WARNING: there is a lot of male nudity depicted in this post! We are not kidding.

No nudity yet, but just wait for it.

In March of 2018, nostalgia drove us back to our first Spanish home to experience another Valencian Fallas celebration.

Enjoying wine and a hot meal in first class and remembering why we love train travel.

First things first: we headed to our favorite fried dough place for an indulgent breakfast.

Waiting in a long line full of people who had just run a race and thus deserved their fried dough more than we did.
Falleras sipping chocolate.

A charanga, or small musical group common to street festivals, entertained the hungry line with that old Valencian classic.

Seeing how the bunyuelos were made was equally entertaining.

The payoff was well worth it.
They’ve been making these for 125 years. “Your grandmother was a customer.”

Speaking of can’t-miss Valencian treats, we could’t visit the city without visiting our favorite horchatería, Daniel in Alboraya. 

Horchata, what what?
The horchatería had their own falla!

Later, we enjoyed some non-quite-as-tasty-but-still-satisfying horchata in the central market, where we came upon a rather disturbing little sculpture.

Hard to figure out what’s going on here and whether this is depicting cannibalism or not. The farton is drinking his horchata bathwater?

That year’s city hall fallas sculpture was created by street artist Okuda San Miguel. 

Falla created by Okuda San Miguel.
Dreamer was non-plussed.

There was an accompanying exhibit of his work in the Centre del Carme museum.

Okuda San Miguel exhibit.

This is where that aforementioned theme began…

Welcoming visitors to the exhibition. Again, you can’t say we didn’t warn you.

Doer got to go to the Corpus Christi museum for the first time.  ¡Els Gegants!

We took in another fallas-related exhibit in the Palau de la Generalitat.

We stopped by to see the flower offering to The Virgin as well.

The design is different every year.

…and some more penises because why not?

Believe us, this is more artful than what’s coming.

ART-fully placed bells 🙂
And something else you see on every street corner here. Are you believing our warning yet?

Even the kids wanted in on the action. Ladies and Gentlemen, 2018’s Ninot Indultat, the piece of a falla spared from the flames…

Saved from the flames. Kinda looks like an avid reader we know.

The reason for all this nudity? It seems to fit with the political parody that is taking place here.

There was a lot of parody of Carles Puidgemont, the Catalan separatist leader, who at the time was hiding in Brussels to escape prosecution under Spanish law.
Little Rocket Man enjoying a roller coaster ride with Trump and Putin.

Not sure we agree with the racism, though. Even if they were trying to make a point.

The dark side of Fallas: some displays are needlessly racist. Hopefully this kind of “art” is on the way out.
“We Have Everything” – a tasteless nod to the bazaars run by Chinese immigrants where everyone here buys their household items.
“Ethnic” hair salon – again, we hope the views behind these types of displays are disappearing fast.

And some more pleasant fallas to end it on.

Tiki falla?


Kids made this one. KIDS!

This time around, we also saw some fallas in the nearby town of Carcaixent, where we went to meet up with some friends.

Every town has its own Fallas celebration.
Not a falla; just a pretty tile fountain.
Rice with our old gang.

We took another side trip to Vila-Real, where we participated in a calçotada among friends.

Worth the train ride.
The Shah does not like climbing stairs. Crossing the tracks in Vila-Real is quite the production.

Finally, the payoff…

Eating calçots is messy! Good thing we brought our bibs from the calçot festival.

This time around, we didn’t have our own place in the Valencian Community to crash at like we did for our first Fallas. For reasons of economics and proximity, we decided to stay in Manises, a small town by the Valencian airport. We were pleasantly surprised by some beautiful tile touches in the town.

Our hotel gave us complimentary Fallas kerchiefs.

Who’s a good boy?

Actual good boys? These two dogs we met in an alley while looking at all these temporary works of art.

Ron and Luki seemed to be tolerating things pretty well considering the plentitude of fireworks here. Note Ron’s matching handkerchief.
Future mascletá aka “a dog’s worst nightmare.”

Indeed, Las Fallas is big business.

Gotta get your photos here.
A cup of colored cheese cubes becomes a marketing opportunity.
We just really liked the imprint on the crate holding supplies at this cocktail stand.

Luckily, we made it out alive… which is more than we can say for some inanimate objects.

“It didn’t survive Las Fallas 2018.”

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