Spain’s Valencia gears up for ‘Battle of the Flowers’ where using a racket is certainly not for tennis

OVER A MILLION locally-grown carnations will feature in one of Valencia’s brightest coloured events on July 30- the traditional ‘Battle of the Flowers’.

40 floats will parade on the city’s Paseo de la Alameda from 8.00pm as people on the floats and onlookers throw flowers at each other in a celebration that marks the end of Valencia’s grand fair.

It makes for a curious sight as women dressed in traditional costumes protect themselves with rackets from thousands of brightly coloured carnations thrown at them by the public.

  1. They travel in carriages decorated by Fallas artists loaded with thousands of flowers and after the battle, the Paseo ends up being covered in a long line of flowers with the scent lingering all around the area.

Valencia’s Fiestas councillor, Santiago Ballester, said: “The event has been held since 1891 and tribute to the artisan work and cultivation techniques of flower growers.”

1.2 million carnations are grown on farms in Alboraya, Meliana and Alcasser, and cultivation is deliberately spread around just in case hailstorms spoil crops.

“The long flowering season and the duration of the carnations once cut are the keys to success,” added Ballester.

He said that carnation seeds are sown exclusively for the ‘battle’ at the beginning of March and the finished products are collected at the end of July.

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