Made in Spain/Valencia: Fallas

Falles is a Valencian celebration that takes place between 15th March and 19th March, also known as Saint Joseph Day or carpenter’s patron saint. Falles are big satirical group of sculptures that are shown all around the city. In Valencian Autonomous Community there are different celebrations during those 5 days. On March 19th at night, they do the “cremà”, and all the falles are burned.

Most Valencians wait for falles to start all year round, as they are really big celebrations. Kids have no school, people meet their friends to have a drink, to party , to explode firecrackers and to enjoy the celebrations together.

The first time I went to Falles I was not expecting something as big as it really is. Firecrackers making noise all day long, mascletàs that leave you breathtaking, music and people everywhere..... and all the emotions you can feel in the air when the falles burn, specially the on in front of the city hall. When that falla sets on fire, fireworks surround it while the Valencian anthem starts playing and everyone sings it. It gives me goosebumps just to think about it. 


Ninots (the sculptures) are made of different materials: their structure is made of wood and the statue is traditionally made of paper paste. Nowadays they can use new materials such as Porespan, resin or fiberglass. When the sculpture is finished, they are painted.
There is a falles contest and some of the falles receive prizes to be the most original, the most ingenious one, etc.
All the sculptures are burned the last night. Only one sculpture, the “ninot indultat” is saved from being burned.

Ninot indultat, 2011

There is some controversy about the origin of this celebration, but it is said that many centuries ago the carpenters used Saint Joseph day, their free day as he was their patron saint, to clean their workshop. They threw all the wood that was useless and burned it. That tradition became gradually more sophisticated and satirical and they started giving specific human shape to the material.

More pictures:

Some women and men dress with the traditional costume from the 18th century. Women dresses are impressive and they also have a special hairdo, difficult to do. Tourists love to take pictures with them and they really like it, so don't be shy to ask for a pic. 

The streets where there is a falla are decorated with lights. This one belongs to the 2nd prize for lighting. It may seem impressive just by judging the picture, but when you are there in front of that huge street entrance all lighted up you realize how incredible it is.

Some ninots are satirical and they are use to criticize something. In the picture, Valencia's mayor, Rita Barberá, as a tennis player and Valencia Autonomous Community President, Francisco Camps. I celebrated falles in Port de Sagunt, a small town next to Valencia, and I think that the falles there were more satirical than the ones in Valencia city.

This Falla received the 1st prize in 2011. It was horrible to get close to it, it was so packed.

When "Cremà" starts, fireworks surround the falla and then it starts burning.

0 comentarios:

Post a Comment


Blogger news