¡Que Empiecen Las Fallas!

Antes de leer este artículo, tenéis que aprender un poco de vocabulario:

  1. Las Fallas: The annual festival in Valencia where the community makes incredible sculptures (also called fallas) from wood and polyester to be shown and burned down during the month of March.
  2. La Crida: The opening ceremony of Fallas at the Serrano Towers in the north of the city.
  3. La Mascletà: A firework’s show in the main square every day at 2pm.
  4. La cremà: The burning of the Fallas to signify the end of the festival.
  5. Los Falleros/Las Falleras: The men and women who work all year round to create the Fallas. This is also the name of the traditional outfits during the ceremony.
La Crida 2022

Durante todo mi estancia aquí en Valencia, I have been hyped up for this festival. My co-workers have mentioned how crazy it will be, how important for the city this festival is and how I will probably be unable to sleep for 2 weeks: “¿Estás preparada para las Fallas Lucy?” “¡Es una locura!” This is an event in which all of the community takes immense pride, and they celebrate it to the extreme.

La Historia del Festival

El festival Fallas empezó en el siglo XV when carpenters would burn spare wood from the winter to celebrate the start of spring; out with the old and in with the new. They would add some clothing to make the wood look like a person and eventually the Fallas became what they are today. Lo que más me interesa de las Fallas is the connection to modern politics and the meaning behind each one. This year, my favourite was the Falla in reference to Brexit where each person on the sculpture related to a country in the EU or an important figure of the UK. Can you spot Borris and the Queen? Some have rumoured that another reason why they burn each sculpture is to get rid of evidence as many of these monuments are criticisms on modern Spain.

The festival started this year on the 27th of February with a fireworks ceremony por las torres de Serranos. From this day forth, just as my teacher warned, I did not sleep. The sounds are perhaps the most important part of the festival and you can even find children as young as 3 using miniature fireworks on the street at all hours of the day. From the 1st of March to the closing ceremony on the 19th, Mascletà take place in la Plaza del Ayutamiento. The Mascletà is so loud that you can hear it from most parts of the city, and los habitantes tell you to open your mouth during the show so the noise can pass through your body and not damage your ear drums.

La cremà is definitely the height of the festival as the whole city turns red with fire. A monument that took a full year to make is burned to the ground within 15 minutes and los bomberos stand to the side, prepared for whatever may happen. People crowd around and cheer as fireworks come out from the Falla and we watch it light up. After all the Fallas are burned, the city parties until 4.30am on the streets with churros and mojito stands on every street. It is a great way to end an incredible month in Valencia.

It’s hard to write about a festival that is all about the visuals, así que os he preparado un vídeo sobre las Fallas y todo lo que he captado este mes en Valencia.

¿Cuál es el mejor festival que hais visto?

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