Día de la Comunidad Valenciana
We didn’t have school today because it was a public holiday, known as ‘Día de la Comunidad Valenciana’. It marks the day that King James I of Aragon captured Valencia in 1238. It is also the day of Dionysius, the day of lovers. There was a big display of fireworks late into last night which marked the start of the celebration. It was an amazing spectacle with the firework display lasting almost an hour. Many of the local citizens had taken to the street near the old Turía riverbed to watch the fireworks and celebrations carried on into the early hours of the morning.
Today started with a folk dance in the Plaza de la Virgen (Which can be seen in the photo to the left). It was really interesting to observe some folk dance in full costume with castanets, as it allowed me to witness dance traditional to the culture and style of spain. It was done with a large group of both male and female dancers of varied ages and lasted around 40 minutes. It was performed in a big square with the audience stood observing from three sides. There was live music and once the folk dancers had finished the musicians on stage gave a performance of folk music and then the procession down the streets began.
It consisted of many different travelling floats and signs being carried down the street to introduce different sections of the procession. There were males and females travelling on horse back, wearing full traditional historic costumes. There was live music travelling alongside the procession and performers dancing and acting (See the photographs below taken by myself at the parade).
I was very glad I got to witness this traditional way of spending this particular public holiday. It made me realise how proud Spain seem to be of their history and how they keep it alive for the younger generations. Public holidays are celebrated and made entertaining while keeping true to the history of the event. I liked the feeling of the community coming together to celebrate and very much felt the great pride they all have for their country.