Lights, gunpowder, flowers, traditional costumes, music, satire, emotions and a great deal of fun are the ingredients of a unique experience known as the Fallas of Valencia!
Las Fallas de Valencia is undoubtedly one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain. In fact it’s not a carnival celebration as a lot of us might think, but it’s a cultural celebration dating back to the 18th century!
The origins of the Fallas festival go back to an ancient and unique tradition of the carpenters of the city. On the eve of saint José’s celebration, the city’s patron, they used to burn in front of their workshops, in the streets and in the public squares, their old non- needed for work rubbish along with wooden supplies and candles.
In the 18th century, the Fallas were simple pyres of combustible material burnt on the night of Saint Joseph’s feast day however, soon they have gradually evolved and adopted a critical and ironic tone while displaying scenes of condemned social behaviours.
1901 was the first year when the Town Hall of Valencia itself granted municipal prizes to the best fallas representations. During these years, the Fallas became the main festivity in the Valencia Region with over 700 large and small fallas being burnt along the city’s streets.
Displayed on every street and corner of the city, colourful giant papier-mâché figures that can even reach often 20 feet in height (or even more), parade among the visitors who gather to attend this unique spectacle.
Each one of the fallas usually satirises a political figure, soap opera TV stars, exotic creatures from the movies & TV, sports idols, or simply creatures and characters of imagination. Some of them are grotesque while others are quite playful and charming.
Soon a literally translated from Spanish “concert of gunpowders” begins which is very popular, since it involves different neighbourhood' groups competing for the most impressive fallas’ constructions & presentations. The gunpowders end with the terremoto, (literally meaning an "earthquake") when hundreds of fallas are being exploded simultaneously.
Valencia becomes an immense museum, created to be destroyed once its mission is accomplished: the exposure of the negative side of life is being ridiculed and incinerated.
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