Litte girl in maroon dress_6867

In their traditional costumes, hundreds of falleras and falleros of all ages make their way through the streets of the old city toward the cathedral, where they will make an offering of their carnations to the Virgin de los Desamparados (Virgin of the Forsaken) as part of the Fallas in Valencia, Spain.

Older couple marching_6984

The costumes are as authentic as they are extravagant. Every fallera’s dress belongs to her. I’m told that sometimes, as a girl grows, the falla costume of her younger years is taken apart and reworked into a new falla costume, so that pieces of the past adorn the ‘traje’ of the present. I love that!

Falleras and one gentleman_6864

I’ve never seen anything like these dresses!

Young couple_6924

And the children! . . .

Close-up of one little girl_6999

Trio of girls_6890

Little girls parading_7068

Four girls and a baby_6899

Dad holding baby girl_7131

Pushing babies_7011

Little girl in stroller_7017

Father and Son_6928

Girls lined up_6995

Older girls marching_7083

Two by a column_6915

Blond hair, brown eyes_6908

Adults 4_7147

Such vibrant color!

Adults marching 1_6951

Adults marching 7_7291

Adults marching 6_7228

Presenting their flowers_7478

Presenting flowers_7498

I do not own a traje de fallera; I’m not sure I’ve really lived. Somehow the idea of repurposing a great vintage gown has a certain appeal. But I’d need to belong to a falla! And parade through the streets of Valencia! And carry a bouquet of carnations! And have fabulous shoes made of the same fabric as my dress!

You think I could start my own falla? Anyone want to dress up with me? Or is it gonna be just the Eleven O’Clock Girls?

Tomorrow: spectacle and fire!

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