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Las Fallas



The Festival
In the middle of the Mediterranean coast, Valencia city, celebrates each year the final days of the winter and the arrival of spring with spectacular fires and pyrotechnics. From March 15 to 19 (the feast of Saint Joseph, day of the father in the whole country), Valencia is given over to a carnival of bonfires, fiesta, fireworks and a healthy dose of satire known as Las Fallas, the fires.
Las Fallas is one of the most incredible festivals in a country where incredible festivals are the norm rather than the exception. But, however prepared for Las Fallas you think you are, you will still be surprised by the sheer craziness of it all.
Las Fallas literally means "the fires" in Valencian. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”), which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-machè and plaster statues. Each one in some way satirises a political figure, or a soap star, or more exotic creatures from the movies, TV, sports idols, or simply imagination. Some of them are grotesque, others playful and charming. The labor intensive ninots, often costing up to £40,000, are crafted by neighborhood organizations and take almost the entire year to construct. Many ninots are several stories tall and need to be moved into their final location of over 350 key intersections and parks around the city with the aid of lorries on the day of la plantà (the rising).

Every day at 2pm firecrackers rip through the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in an noisy event called la Mascletá. This concert of gunpowder is very popular and involves different neighbourhood groups competing for the most impressive volley, ending with the terremoto, (literally means "earthquake") as hundreds of masclets exploting simultaneously. 

Celebrations draw to an end with a fabulous firework display in the Paseo de la Alameda, called the Nit del Foc (literally "The Night of Fire"), on March 18. All Fallas burn all over the city the following night in a tremendous spectacle of fire and joy. Valencia is at that moment like Nero´s Rome, a city in flames. That’s why Valencians call this the best firework fiesta in the world! 

The History:
Historians say that the origins of the festival go back to the time when carpenters cleared out their workshops and talleres at the end of winter, throwing out odds and ends of wood and old candles and lighting them on the street the day of Saint Joseph.

Getting there:
Valencia is located at the mid point of the Spanish east Mediterranean coast, 350 kms east of Madrid and 350 kms south of Barcelona. Valencia has an international airport very well communicated with other main airports in Spain and european cities.


Video: 
La nit del foc (the fire night)

Mascleta (earthquake fireworks):





More Info:




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11 comments:

Ruby x said...

This looks awesome :)

Johanna Naylor said...

Wow, what a festival! This sort of thing would never happen in the UK, people would be too concerned with health and safety issues. Looks like it would be worth visiting Valencia for this festival alone!

Andres S. said...

Hi Johana! First of all thanks for commenting on my blog. For sure that would never happen here in the UK for Health and Safety issues but thank god the health and safety legislation in Spain has not gone that far as in the UK due to presure of local goverments that have tried to keep traditions and local culture as bases of their communities and cultural legislation protects events and festivals like this one even if they are not very safe!

Thanks
A. Sienes

Anonymous said...

Bahhhhhh, there is nothing wrong with the festival, Im from Valencia ;) and if something hapened is becouse the people don't follow reasonables rules about safety with commun sense. There are a lot of rules and regulations and restrictions, just becouse of the people that goes so further and they don't take care and are not aware of the danger that can be, so... if wasn't for idiots it won't be a problem at all ;) Just, come over and enjoy one of the most exciting festivals in Spain. Ro

vanessa gallardo said...

Yo he tenido el "placer" de poder "disfrutar" este año, de una de las fiestas con más arraigo y acogida en España; las fallas.

La ciudad se llena de gente, las fallas inundan la ciudad y las mascletás ( tracas de petardos ) hacen que valencia vibre a la misma hora durante un mes entero, ;). Es un experiencia que todos deben experimentar alguna vez en la vida. Desde aquí aprovecho para animar a todo aquel que le gusten las aventuras, porque Valencia, es una de ellas.

Un beso*

Carol M said...

Loving Everything Spanish I really enjoyed reading about Las Fallas. I've seen the "Human Tower" during a visit to Palma but never heard of Las Fallas. I think it would be pretty amazing to see, and would definately put it in my "Spanish To Do" list. Thanks for posting it, would never have discovered it otherwise!

Josh said...

Id love too see this! Bonfire night in the UK doesnt even come close to the intensity of this! I almost feel bad in a way that these beautiful sculptures get burned but still a spectacle that would be truely amazing to witness! Must go see this!

Kelly Watt, SHSC said...

Andres, very interesting article. Ive visited Valencia before and it is a very beautiful city, last year i went in April so just missed Las Fellas!

Maria G. Zafra said...

Hello! I'm from Valencia and I assure you that the Fallas are some amazing parties. The Mascletà is not just noise, if you're in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and you feel the vibration of the ground you can feel the pace with the firecrackers. La Nit del Foc is the most amazing show of fireworks you can see in life. I've been watching it 19 years and every year it's different. Many people who are not used to Fallas can't understand we burn so pretty monuments, but it's a way to burn what we dislike. Moreover, as illustrated in the blog, are satirical, is a way to burn what we don't like and start well Spring. Because the celebration coincides roughly with the beginning of spring, but later became a Christian with the feast of San Jose (where we also celebrate Father's Day) as well as many other pagan festivals like the one now known as Noche de San Juan in the summer solstice.
Nice Blog :)

Wendy said...

I want to go!

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous "Bahhhhhh, there is nothing wrong with the festival, Im from Valencia ;) and if something hapened is becouse the people don't follow reasonables rules about safety with commun sense. There are a lot of rules and regulations and restrictions, just becouse of the people that goes so further and they don't take care and are not aware of the danger that can be, so... if wasn't for idiots it won't be a problem at all ;) Just, come over and enjoy one of the most exciting festivals in Spain. Ro"

*COMMON!

Post a Comment

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Las Fallas



The Festival
In the middle of the Mediterranean coast, Valencia city, celebrates each year the final days of the winter and the arrival of spring with spectacular fires and pyrotechnics. From March 15 to 19 (the feast of Saint Joseph, day of the father in the whole country), Valencia is given over to a carnival of bonfires, fiesta, fireworks and a healthy dose of satire known as Las Fallas, the fires.
Las Fallas is one of the most incredible festivals in a country where incredible festivals are the norm rather than the exception. But, however prepared for Las Fallas you think you are, you will still be surprised by the sheer craziness of it all.
Las Fallas literally means "the fires" in Valencian. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”), which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-machè and plaster statues. Each one in some way satirises a political figure, or a soap star, or more exotic creatures from the movies, TV, sports idols, or simply imagination. Some of them are grotesque, others playful and charming. The labor intensive ninots, often costing up to £40,000, are crafted by neighborhood organizations and take almost the entire year to construct. Many ninots are several stories tall and need to be moved into their final location of over 350 key intersections and parks around the city with the aid of lorries on the day of la plantà (the rising).

Every day at 2pm firecrackers rip through the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in an noisy event called la Mascletá. This concert of gunpowder is very popular and involves different neighbourhood groups competing for the most impressive volley, ending with the terremoto, (literally means "earthquake") as hundreds of masclets exploting simultaneously. 

Celebrations draw to an end with a fabulous firework display in the Paseo de la Alameda, called the Nit del Foc (literally "The Night of Fire"), on March 18. All Fallas burn all over the city the following night in a tremendous spectacle of fire and joy. Valencia is at that moment like Nero´s Rome, a city in flames. That’s why Valencians call this the best firework fiesta in the world! 

The History:
Historians say that the origins of the festival go back to the time when carpenters cleared out their workshops and talleres at the end of winter, throwing out odds and ends of wood and old candles and lighting them on the street the day of Saint Joseph.

Getting there:
Valencia is located at the mid point of the Spanish east Mediterranean coast, 350 kms east of Madrid and 350 kms south of Barcelona. Valencia has an international airport very well communicated with other main airports in Spain and european cities.


Video: 
La nit del foc (the fire night)

Mascleta (earthquake fireworks):





More Info:



11 comments:

Ruby x said...

This looks awesome :)

Johanna Naylor said...

Wow, what a festival! This sort of thing would never happen in the UK, people would be too concerned with health and safety issues. Looks like it would be worth visiting Valencia for this festival alone!

Andres S. said...

Hi Johana! First of all thanks for commenting on my blog. For sure that would never happen here in the UK for Health and Safety issues but thank god the health and safety legislation in Spain has not gone that far as in the UK due to presure of local goverments that have tried to keep traditions and local culture as bases of their communities and cultural legislation protects events and festivals like this one even if they are not very safe!

Thanks
A. Sienes

Anonymous said...

Bahhhhhh, there is nothing wrong with the festival, Im from Valencia ;) and if something hapened is becouse the people don't follow reasonables rules about safety with commun sense. There are a lot of rules and regulations and restrictions, just becouse of the people that goes so further and they don't take care and are not aware of the danger that can be, so... if wasn't for idiots it won't be a problem at all ;) Just, come over and enjoy one of the most exciting festivals in Spain. Ro

vanessa gallardo said...

Yo he tenido el "placer" de poder "disfrutar" este año, de una de las fiestas con más arraigo y acogida en España; las fallas.

La ciudad se llena de gente, las fallas inundan la ciudad y las mascletás ( tracas de petardos ) hacen que valencia vibre a la misma hora durante un mes entero, ;). Es un experiencia que todos deben experimentar alguna vez en la vida. Desde aquí aprovecho para animar a todo aquel que le gusten las aventuras, porque Valencia, es una de ellas.

Un beso*

Carol M said...

Loving Everything Spanish I really enjoyed reading about Las Fallas. I've seen the "Human Tower" during a visit to Palma but never heard of Las Fallas. I think it would be pretty amazing to see, and would definately put it in my "Spanish To Do" list. Thanks for posting it, would never have discovered it otherwise!

Josh said...

Id love too see this! Bonfire night in the UK doesnt even come close to the intensity of this! I almost feel bad in a way that these beautiful sculptures get burned but still a spectacle that would be truely amazing to witness! Must go see this!

Kelly Watt, SHSC said...

Andres, very interesting article. Ive visited Valencia before and it is a very beautiful city, last year i went in April so just missed Las Fellas!

Maria G. Zafra said...

Hello! I'm from Valencia and I assure you that the Fallas are some amazing parties. The Mascletà is not just noise, if you're in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and you feel the vibration of the ground you can feel the pace with the firecrackers. La Nit del Foc is the most amazing show of fireworks you can see in life. I've been watching it 19 years and every year it's different. Many people who are not used to Fallas can't understand we burn so pretty monuments, but it's a way to burn what we dislike. Moreover, as illustrated in the blog, are satirical, is a way to burn what we don't like and start well Spring. Because the celebration coincides roughly with the beginning of spring, but later became a Christian with the feast of San Jose (where we also celebrate Father's Day) as well as many other pagan festivals like the one now known as Noche de San Juan in the summer solstice.
Nice Blog :)

Wendy said...

I want to go!

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous "Bahhhhhh, there is nothing wrong with the festival, Im from Valencia ;) and if something hapened is becouse the people don't follow reasonables rules about safety with commun sense. There are a lot of rules and regulations and restrictions, just becouse of the people that goes so further and they don't take care and are not aware of the danger that can be, so... if wasn't for idiots it won't be a problem at all ;) Just, come over and enjoy one of the most exciting festivals in Spain. Ro"

*COMMON!

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