Spain Up in Flames

by Tessa on April 17, 2013

in Family, Spain, Trips & Travels

ValenciaWe were in Valencia for  las fallas and man, we weren’t the only ones! The city was jam-packed! There were some tourists, like us, but a majority of the people were Spaniards from all over the country that came to Valencia for the five day celebration. The celebration has two components, a religious one and a satirical one. Fallas refers to an organization or a neighborhood and each falla has their own costumes that are often passed down through generations. For the religious aspect, the women, men, and children marched through the streets in their costumes and presented flowers to La Virgin de los Desamparados (Virgin of the Forsaken), which was a giant Tableau depicting the Virgin Mary. There were Los FallasWhile fallas means an organization, it also refers to the tableaux (large figures constructed for artistic or satirical purposes). These tableauxs are satires of the government, economy, and/or national issues. During the day, everyone walks around the city to look at each falla and watch the firework shows on the street (you can’t see the fireworks, obviously, but they sound like they’re going off inside your ear.. so really everyones just listening to fireworks and subjecting themselves to exciting torture). At midnight, they begin burning the fallas in effigy and it’s incredible!fallasThe fires were amazing! They were in the middle of the street intersection so there were some people that sat and watched from their balconies. Now, imagine the biggest bonfire you’ve ever seen them times that by 10… or 20! There were firefighters along the side keeping the trees wet and ensuring the safety of the buildings. THe greatest paart was in how it heated up in 10 seconds and the hundreds of people crowded around, jumped back a few steps. The ashes from the fire rained on our heads and as the fire grew, so did the cheering and applauding. Five days off from work, fireworks, and towering bonfires all over the city… best holiday ever.
Tessa Lynn

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