Tag Archives: Valencia

LAS FALLAS 2018

WHAT: LAS FALLAS – VALENCIA, SPAIN 2018
WHY: FIREWORK FESTIVAL AND FIESTA
WHERE: VALENCIA, SPAIN
WHEN: THURSDAY 15TH – MONDAY 19TH MARCH 2018 (BUT THERE ARE EVENTS EACH DAY FROM 1ST MARCH ONWARDS)
COST: FREE

One of the most important fiestas in the Spanish calendar takes part shortly in the beautiful City of Valencia in South Western Spain. The event lasts for several days and on the final day the huge and brightly decorated figures or ‘ninots’ are burned.

The word Falla is an old Valencian word for torch and in bygone days, the old torches were placed in watchtowers used in defence of the City of Valencia. Legend has it that the local woodworkers and carpenters would celebrate the Fiesta for San Jose (St Joseph – husband of the mother of Christ) who became the patron saint of carpenters and woodworkers (as he was a carpenter himself one would assume) by burning off the last remnants of wood in celebration of the end of winter.

In the 1800’s, craftsmen would create these figurines or dolls as a mockery of the political in-fighting of the ruling dynasty, headed by Philip V who was the grandson of French ruler Louise XIV.

200 years on and Las Fallas is still going strong with people visiting from around the world just to see this amazing spectacle. Last year, the Ninots represented the President of the USA Donald Trump, Carles Puigdemont; the former President of Catalonia who wants to break Spain into smaller areas, footballer Lionel Messi, Mariano Rajoy; Spain’s Prime Minister and Rita Barbera; former Mayor of Valencia who dies whilst being investigated for money laundering. These are just a few of the amazing figures and caricatures on offer.

Fallas #PassFire Visit Spain

Las Fallas features also the mascaleta which are loud firecrackers/fireworks used both during the daytime and in the evening which MUST start off quieter and get gradually louder through to the end. Some of the very best pyrotechnic companies in the World take part including Pirotecnia Zaragozana, Ricassa and Heranos Caballer.

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PassFire In Spain

Spanish Rocket - #PassFire Visit Spain

Team PassFire arrived in Spain (Valencia) in time for the Las Fallas Festival. Whilst this is widely attended by Pyro Freaks from around the World including a group of British Pro-firers and enthusiasts over there on a mission, there are also tens of thousands of firework lovers all there to see the spectacle for themselves.

Love KNO3 #PassFire Visit Spain

The Las Fallas Festival is what can only be described as utter madness with fireworks! The beautiful City of Valencia plays host to this event which has been celebrated since some point in the Middle Ages (11th to 15th century) and was thought to have been created by the artisans who disposed of broken art works and any off cuts or unusable pieces of wood and other combustible materials and made them into dressed figures and set them alight to welcome the Spring Equinox.

Fallas #PassFire Visit Spain

The event essentially is 5 days and nights of partying and includes along with the plethora of fireworks and bonfires a great many religious, comedic and historical Ninots (puppets or dolls). The types of ninots are usually determined as a ‘theme’ and they are absolutely spectacular.

Mascleta #PassFire Visit Spain

The main event ‘La Mascaleta’ is a barrage of fireworks and firecrackers which are fired at 2:00pm daily and the best of these is then selected to provide the finale ‘mascaleta of the fiesta’.

Mascleta Model #PassFire Visit Spain

The origin of the word ‘Mascaleta’ is from the latin for masculine (not unsurprising with big boys toys!) and Fallas is derived from the latin for torch so essentially Las Fallas Mascaleta translates as The Torch Man!!

Salutes #PassFire Visit Spain

The next stop on their tour to bring the world of fireworks and its relevant customs together in one film takes the Veverka Brothers over to Portugal and we will of course keep you posted on their exploits. More pics of the #PassFire project on our flickr channel.

Star Roller #PassFire Visit Spain

Whilst in Spain, Jesse and the #Passfire team ran into a little bit of trouble… Here’s a short extract of an email from Jesse Veverka…

“On a final note, you might have also heard that we successfully chased down a few bag thieves in Spain who tried to rob our camera equipment. It’s a true story. We got the bags back and even handed one of the thieves over to the cops. What can I say, the production must always go on!”

Great news Jesse – Be Water My Friend :-D

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Valencia Las Fallas Festival of Fire

In years gone by, as Spring approached and the days grew longer and lighter, the folk of Valencia used to burn leftovers or offcuts from around the neighbourhood. The lamp was ceremoniously placed into the town square, surrounded by rags with a hat etc on (kind of like a Guy Fawkes) calling it a Ninot or Falla.

On March 1st, the first string of firecrackers which are known as Mascletas is lit and fired in the Town Square heralds the beginning of the festival period which runs from 16th March to Midnight on 19th March 2014.

In the interim period, the area is lavishly decorated with more than 700 figures/effigies prior to the most spectacular event on 17th and 18th march between 4:00pm and Midnight including a parade, with members of the Fallas in their spectacular, beautifully created traditional costumes.

This beautiful and entertaining event which pokes fun at everyone equally, with references in a humorous way to sociopolitical situations all depicted by Fallas and Ninots since the mid 1800’s.

At midnight on the 19th, the festival closes with powerful imagery as the beautiful Fallas and Ninots are set alight apart from one which is voted for by the Falleros which will be kept in the Fallero Museum. There are, of course, lots of fireworks and a massive bonfire too.

Every year, hundreds of pyro madmen (not mad-men) go over to Valencia for this absolutely fascinating event which is loud, full of pyro and of course gives them a great opportunity to meet up before the wedding season starts in earnest and they are all back to being wet, muddy and smelling of fireworks day in, day out.

Good luck everyone in Valencia and we can look forward to some brilliant photographs and video footage.

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