Spain

Getting Ready for Las Fallas

Valencia is busy getting ready for Las Fallas, the most important celebration of the year. Every March, Valencia celebrates the arrival of spring by erecting giant sculptures, called fallas, in the city streets and then burning them to the ground on March 19th during the Feast of Saint Joseph (the patron saint of carpenters) and just before the spring equinox.

Cuba Literato Azorin Falla 1

They have been doing this in Valencia for 500 years. In the 18th century, the festival really took off as the fallas took on satirical themes with caricatures of political figures and current events. Each district of the city has its own Fallas Commission, or club, which is responsible for organizing, raising money, designing and constructing the monuments. The Falleros (members) are busy at this year round and begin planning for next year as soon as this year’s Falla turns to ashes. Prizes are awarded to the best Fallas, but they all burn in the end.

They say that 1.5 million visitors attended the festival last year. This year is even more special because Las Fallas was recently granted Unesco World Heritage status as one of the most unique and important intangible cultural traditions in the world.

The festival doesn’t officially begin until Wednesday, March 15, but the city has been bustling with activity for days. Streets have been closed off for the assembly of the Fallas monuments. The Falleros clubs set up tents and paella parties in the streets next to where they are building their Fallas.

Falleros Paella Party

There will be over 750 of these monuments built throughout the city. I’m still having a hard time believing this, but nothing surprises me anymore in Valencia. I expect that each day of Fallas will bring a new surprise. Throughout the week, I will be posting short glimpses of our Fallas experience.

It has been fascinating to walk around the city and watch these giant sculptures being erected. The monuments are made of wood, paper maché, wax, and polystyrene foam. The level of artistry and craftsmanship is astounding. Each monument is a compilation of smaller sculptures, called ninots, that come together to reach amazing heights. Here is some of the action underway:

Fallas monument construction Valencia SpainCalle Sueca Falla monument under construction ValenciaAlmirant Comte dAltea 1Almirant Comte dAltea 2Fallas construction Valencia SpainMaestro Gozalbo Comte dAltea Falla 3Maestro Gozalbo Comte dAltea Falla 4Gravador Esteve Falla 2 closeup

Categories: Spain, Travel

Tagged as: , , , ,

4 replies »

  1. How exciting. We are just about to board a plane for Valencia. It will be our first ever Las Fallas. I am not sure quite what to expect but I am sure it will be amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kate, So glad you are able to make it to Valencia in time for Fallas. This is also our first Fallas and it’s quite an adventure. Get ready for a citywide street party and lots of loud noises!

      Like

  2. Hi Jill, how exciting for you to be in Valencia for this festival! We visited the Las Fallas museum when we were in Valencia last year and it was really interesting. We’d love to be there one March to join in the festivities. You have taken some great photos – look forward to seeing more as the festival progresses to it’s climax.
    Do you mind if I link to this post from my blog? Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s