40 Comments
May 28Liked by Michael Jensen

Two years I spent in Spain (southern) and never heard of this. Fantastic. But sad to see all that art go up in flames.

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It's kind of a metaphor for life though, isn't it? Part of what makes it special is the impermanence...

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May 27Liked by Michael Jensen

This is incredible! Thanks for sharing. I was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras earlier this year and it blew my mind - I hadn’t realized the extent of creativity and community that is deeply part of that cultural festival! But generally I agree that festivals in the US feel bland and simple. We are going to a neighborhood Memorial Day parade today and I’m going to look at it through the eyes of a wandering tourist now after reading this. Might make it more fun?

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A lot of folks have mentioned Mardi Gras as something similar. Guess I need to check it out. But, yeah, not much else in the US to compare it to!

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May 27Liked by Michael Jensen

I am really not trying to push you over to read my Substack, I am truly just enjoying reading your writing on this lazy holiday morning, but I did write about it with loads of really cool pictures if you are interested (my Substack is called Wanderlife)

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May 27Liked by Michael Jensen

I was in Valencia once a million years ago on my way to catch the ferry to Morocco. I think of it often because the orange trees were in bloom and the city smelled amazing! Another time I was hitchhiking to the Riveria and was picked up by a trucker from Valencia with a full load of oranges!! Anyway enjoy! And here’s the link: https://open.substack.com/pub/jessicabecker/p/the-things-that-happened-at-mardi?r=63biu&utm_medium=ios

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I actually read that before! LOL. We both recently got our boosters for the shingles and I'm glad because your experience sounded AWFUL!!!

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Send me a link and I'll take a look!

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You never fail to paint a beautiful picture with words and images. Thank you.

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Thank you for the kind words!

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May 4Liked by Michael Jensen

As always, you’ve seduced all the senses with photos and descriptions! It’s inspiring that you looked more than superficially. Also shows that it’s really possible to connect with people meaningfully. All these photos reveal people who are deeply proud of their culture and willing to share it! Sadly many tourists are in too much of a hurry or too focused on the instagramable to deeply consider their experiences. Thanks for sharing this experience from so many angles!

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Thank you, Kitty!

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Apr 29Liked by Michael Jensen

I'm glad the community gets such joy out of this, but I'm perfectly happy to experience it via your post. Three weeks of mascleta sounds like pure misery to me, and big flames make me nervous!

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Totally understandable and you aren't the only one to feel that way. Glad you got to experience via this newsletter!

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Apr 26Liked by Michael Jensen

Wow this was incredible to discover. Isn't it so amazing the sheer number of unique events happening out there in the world? It's one of the many reasons I love traveling so much. I'm adding this to my bucket list! Thanks for the read!

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Glad you enjoyed reading it and I hope you make it there. It really is amazing!

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Love, love, love the deep dive! The community aspect of festivities like this is so moving ❤️

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So glad you enjoyed it!

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I had never heard of Las Fallas, and what an amazing display it is! Your pictures at the end are especially incredible. I'd be curious to know what they do to keep the flames from spreading? It looks like they put the fallas on sand and stone, but I hope they have lots of firefighters standing by, just in case 😂

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I would enjoy the processions but not the bonfires. Thanks for sharing your obsession with us!

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I get that!

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Apr 22Liked by Michael Jensen

Simply incredible! And how lucky you just happened to be there during the festivities. Like Burning Man on Steroids!!!!!

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Exactly!

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Dear Michael:

Thanks for the photos and information! The people and the artwork of you pictures is really inspiring. Community, eh? What a novel concept about a celebration of this magnitude! Maybe our country could learn a lesson or two from the Valencians. The closest we have, in my opinion, is the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, CA. Take care.

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Thank you, William. And, yeah, I definitely think we could learn something from this!

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Wow! You're right, this is the most amazing festival that I never heard about before! How is the weather in March cuz now I really really want to go,

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Apr 22Liked by Michael Jensen

What a wonderful experience! I love traveling and learning about these ancient traditions. I come home realizing how young and juvenile my own country is. America is so huge, diverse and young we haven’t established many inclusive traditions. I wonder if it’s even possible.

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Thanks, Jo! I live for this kind of stuff as well!

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"Mostly, I saw joy" - love that ! looks and sounds awesome!

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It was indeed, awesome.

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Apr 22Liked by Michael Jensen

Wow, how lucky that you happened to be there at the right time! Those art works are amazing! I think the fireworks would drive me nuts though, haha, I can't even stand them for one night here in July.

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Yeah, you should definitely stay away!

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Apr 22Liked by Michael Jensen

Thanks for the great story, and (from a fellow obsessor) doing the deep dive to understand it.

While in the area, you may enjoy a side trip to the pilgrimage town of El Rocio. When we visited Donaña nature reserve in November, it appeared to be only a tiny town that looked straight out of an Old West movie. In May, it becomes the destination of thousands of pilgrims, all on horseback, horse carriage, or on foot.

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Wow, that sounds cool. I'll keep it mind when we go back! And thanks for the kind words!

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