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On Easter Sunday this year we attended a special short mass for children in Valencia in Iglesia San Juan del Hospital.
It was tranquil inside the church, which has a component that dates from Roman times. The priest had a strong lisp and was difficult to understand but it was nice, especially because it was a short mass and the readings were all done by children.
It was nice to see the congregation dressed in their good clothes and we were glad that we dressed in our best clothes. I was fortunate that there is a 2nd hand and discounted new clothing shop near our apartment. I bought a beautiful skirt from there for 15€ and 2nd hand shoes for 5€. My brother gave us money to buy a birthday gift for our daughter and she chose a beautiful floral dress by Tizza from El Corte Inglés and some orange beaded shoes. My husband and son had thought ahead and brought nice clothes and shoes with them.
After the mass, one man walked out first carrying a small silver box then a priest walked out with frankincense then some men carried a canopy over the senior priest who was carrying a chamber that presumably contained the eucharest, symbolising the resurrected body of Christ.
Approaching the men was a group of women carrying a sculpture of Mary (that we saw on Thursday night and dates from the 12th century CE).
We started the day with coffee at my favourite bar called La Tasquita Estrecha then bought Mona de Pascua for our children from a traditional bakery in the old town. I asked the shop assistant (in Spanish) if it was in the shape of a salamander. She wasn’t sure and said that it could be a lizard but that we should ask the baker, who happened to be walking past. When she asked him if it was a salamander he said, no! It’s a crocodile! What kind of imagination do you have?
Mona de Pascua is a sweet bread that is traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday or Monday in Valencia. I had encouraged our children to try it with dyed hen’s eggs but they weren’t convinced and wanted Kinder surprise eggs instead.
After lunch we walked over to Camp de Mestalla to watch the La Liga football match of Valencia versus Sevilla. The crowd were passionate and it was thrilling to attend a match in Spain. I used to support the Wollongong Wolves when I lived in Australia and this was certainly a different level of game!
Interestingly, alcohol is not sold in the stadium and it was a better experience to see a football match without drunken men becoming aggressive, breathing beer breath and spilling beer on me. Very progressive! They need to do the same in Australia. It was unfortunate that the man beside us and the man behind us smoked through the whole match though.
For more posts from our trip to Valencia see here