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Last week many of you might have noticed the abundance of activities and movement in the city, and maybe some were left wondering what the bustle is all about. Well, the 9th of October happens to be the day that us Valencians celebrate our region: it is the Day of the Valencian Community. Furthermore, this day coincides with the feast day of Saint Denis, the Valencian equivalent of Saint Valentine, and our day of lovers!

Like every year, our Campus Life team wanted to introduce you to this celebration and invite you to experience it the authentic Valencian way. Therefore, collaborating with the town of Alfara del Patriarca we invited our students for paella at our Ágora plaza. Because as the tradition orders, before eating the paella one has to cook it… the Valencian way!

As the paella was cooked in the traditional way over an open fire, it took a long time to prepare from first lighting the fire and burning the wood to actually cooking the dish. So after the fires were prepared, the cooking began! The ingredients were of course cooked in the right order, respecting the tradition. The first ingredient to go on the pan was the meat — chicken and rabbit, as is the traditional Valencian way. Then the green vegetables, beans, and spices were added and cooked. Last to go on the pan is the rice, and once the rice has cooked the dish is ready to be enjoyed.

During the event several pans full of paella were prepared. The locals prepared the dish and taught our students the traditional way to cook paella, and the students assisted in stirring and seasoning the dish with salt. Once the paella was ready, everybody ate together. The paella was enjoyed with wine from Alicante, and after melon and traditional Valencian cakes were served. There was also traditional music playing, and the atmosphere between the locals and the students was very joyful.

The whole Ágora plaza was packed as locals and students came together to enjoy and celebrate this special day: approximately 1500 locals attended the event. We would like to thank all the students who attended this event for coming!

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