Traditional Valencian dress

We had a wonderful holiday in Castellón this summer, visiting an aunt who lives in a picturesque village away from the usual tourist haunts. It was fiesta week while were there and it blew my mind! I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere with such a sense of community, where everyone from new babies to the very oldest enjoyed each others’ company and celebrated the traditions of the village together.

Anyway, amongst all the partying and eating and music were three evenings of proper dancing, where women showed off their gorgeous traditional costume and paraded oin the sqaure with their lifetime dancing partners. A baby girl is partnered with a baby boy practically at birth, and the two of them will dance together for the rest of their lives, coming back to the village each year just to do that no matter where they have to travel from.

Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures, it was dark, very crowded, and the cerveza was cheap!!!

 Aprons and shawls are embroidered lawn, or lace, and tie at the back of the waist.

The skirts are ankle length, and separate from the bodice, which laces at the front over a chemise, or have elbow length sleeves. The fabrics would originally have been silk brocades, and the colours are fabulous. Anything goes.

 Each dress is unique, and women may have more than one. They can cost thousands of Euros each, and are custom made. My daughters and I had a lot of fun choosing our favourites, and deciding what our own dresses would be like. But sadly as we don’t have partners, we aren’t likely to ever wear a dress like this.

 The bodice has a deep vee in the front, and a little peplum or tabs at the waist.

  The hair is elaborately dressed with ornamental pins (gold or silver) plaited hair pieces, and combs. These young girls are the princesses, chosen each year., wearing their sashes.

Thanks for reading. Comments are welcome!

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