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)
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.
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.