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Archive for February, 2017

Spain is full of colours, lights and people who are loving life – and when all three things come together combined with enormous sculptures trying to reach the sky and a lot of scathing satire and sardonic humour, you know it’s this time of the year again: It’s time for Las Fallas festival!

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Fallas in the streets of Valencia, source: Turespaña

Valencia’s biggest festival brings together people from all over the world celebrating the arrival of spring and the lengthening of days from the 15th of March till the 19th of March. The colourful tradition found its origin in 1497. After spending the dark winter days with only the light of oil lamps, the carpenters celebrated the end of winter and welcomed longer, brighter days by burning wooden structures.

Nowadays the crazy festival of Valencia is the perfect reason for artists to get creative when decorating the ninots (figure with human representation) in a way to reflect the current events, politicians and celebrities with a great portion of satire and humour and for the rest of us to have a lot of fun in the noisiest week of the year!

The festival is well planned from day one. On the 15th of March the Fallas Infantiles are planted, followed by the daily Mascleta (pyrotechnic event characterized by the achievement of a noisy and rhythmic composition) at Plaza Ayuntamento, where also the fireworks take place every evening. On the second day, the best Fallas Infantiles will be awarded, supported by a parade of traditional costumes and music. The folk carnival on Plaza Ayuntamento is something to not miss out that day!

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details of Mascleta

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“Falleras infantiles” during the celebrations

On the third and fourth day, traditional costumed parades bring flowers around Plaza de la Virgin. The night of the 18th March is also called “Nit de Foc” and can be translated as “Night of fire”. The biggest visual fireworks of the festival take place in that night.

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fireworks during the festival

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Plaza Ayuntamento, source: digital av magazine

The final evening starts with a carnival of fire in Calle Colon and continues with “La Cremà”: burning down all Fallas combined with spectacular fireworks! Only the awarded Falla of the second day survives the ceremony and will be displayed in a museum. Las Fallas festival leaves people speechless through its unique atmosphere, breathtaking sculptures and adrenalin rushes created by the shaking grounds.

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La Cremà, source: el Mundo

 

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Valencia

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Spain has so much to offer, it’s a country full of traditions and gastronomy is one of them.
It is a fact that Spain is known for its tapas (small portions of fresh regional and local dishes based on meat or fish and other unique ingredients), but the gastronomy in Spain has been on a culinary high in recent years, more and more restaurants are receiving Michelin stars.

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tapas selection (source: San Sebastian Turismo)

Spain has now 182 restaurants included in the Michelin guide: nine restaurants with three stars, 23 with two stars and 150 with one Michelin star. As an example, Madrid boasts 14 restaurants with Michelin stars, DiverXO being the only one with three stars.

The Basque Country is a region blessed by Michelin stars. Especially San Sebastian features various gastronomic highlights. Three of nine three Michelin stars restaurants of Spain can be found in this city. This fact makes San Sebastian the city with the most Michelin stars per square meter in the world. The four most starred restaurants in San Sabastian are: Akelarre (***), Arzak (***), Martín Berasategui (***) and Mugarritz (**).

This year, the chef Martín Berasategui has received three Michelin stars for one of his restaurants for the second time. It happened for the first time in the country’s history. He is the ninth chef in Spain to be granted the illustrious Michelin ranking. The Spanish chef has a total of eight Michelin stars, making him the most decorated chef in Spain.

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chef Martín Berasategui (source: Castellon en fiestas)

Moreover, the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona has three Michelin stars. The three Roca brothers are fond of cooking, they decided to open a restaurant specialized in traditional Catalan cooking. In 2013 and 2015, their restaurant was named the world’s best restaurant.

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the Roca brothers (source: El Celler Can Roca)

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El Celler Can Roca restaurant (source: Gastroeconomy)

 

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Madrid, San Sebastian and Girona

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