“Offrenda” or offering flowers to the Lady of Valencia known as the Virgen de Los Desamparados or Virgin of the Forsaken is probably the most beautiful event that takes place during Fallas. Even if her feast day is celebrated in May, the offering of flowers to the Lady of Valencia has been added to Fallas festival. The image of the Lady of Valencia with her long golden cape, holds a lily on one hand and the other baby Jesus with two children at her feet, crowns the inner sanctum of the Basilica in Valencia. The Basilica itself is built on what was once an ancient Roman temple with painted domed ceiling work of the Baroque Spanish painter Antonio Palomino. The Basilica can be reached through a Renaissance style archway from Valencia Cathedral at the Plaza de la Reina.
A monumental replica of the Lady of the Abandoned is placed on a wooden pyramidal structure where flowers are placed by the flower arranger according to a specific design. The monumental structure is placed in the middle of the square facing the Basilica and the cathedral. The procession begins in the afternoons of March 17 and Mqrch 18 till late night when all the flowers have been properly arranged on the wooden structures.
Falleras and Falleros proudly dressed in their most finest costumes lead by a flag bearer and followed by musicians would arrived from both sides of the Cathedral. The women are splendidly dressed in traditional Valencian costumes made of fine embroidered silk and lace with headdresses inspired from the ancient Iberian women with golden combs to hold their mantillas. Some emotional scenes can be seen throughout the procession.
Arriving at the square the flowers are given to the flower arrangers to be then placed on the wooden structures according to designated placements forming her decorative cape.
Thousands of Falleras, Falleros and their families come to pay homage to the Lady of the Abandoned till very late at night and by around 1 a.m the replica of the Lady of Valencia is fully and decoratively dressed in a tapestry of sweet smelling flowers. So ends the beautiful moving holy procession of “Offrenda”
For more information on the Festival of the Lady of the Forsaken
Avda. Cortes Valencianas,
41 – 46015 Valencia
Tel 34 963 606 353 – 34 963 390 390
Categories: Offrenda in Valencia