Fallas de Valencia

Thursday, 21 March 2013



Last week after a severe feeling of FOMO I decided to pack up and head off to Las Fallas de Valencia. Ever since I've been in Madrid since January, I've felt my life has been one mad rush of using every minute of every day to work or do some kind of errand. Or clean. My favorite hobby is cleaning. I think I clean too much. I blame my mother.

The trip to Valencia via Madrid on the Renfe Ave (Spanish speed train) was really awesome. I really love trains! And this train does not disappoint. If you ever have the opportunity to travel in Spain, I would really recommend taking the train on a trip. They are very comfortable and efficient and you get to see the beautiful Spanish country side. If you follow me on instagram, you can see some of the pictures I took on the train. I have become a hipster since getting instagram. I instagram too much. Forgive me world and all my designer friends. I do know how to use a manual camera still.





Valencia is a small town about an hour and a half by (fast) train from Madrid. Most people know it for it's oranges. Which are super delicious by the way! I have started to like oranges, since I've been in Spain. Which is weird because I do not really like fruit. From the main train station there is a free bus that takes you to another train station in the city centre of Valencia. Once in the city centre it was relatively easy to move around. I say relatively easy, but I am lying. There were THOUSANDS of people. If you do not like crowds and noise, I would say Las Fallas is not for you. But, if you are up for being absolutely awe-inspired I would say this is a MUST for the travel bucket list! 



The history of Las Fallas, on the beloved Wikipedia: is a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph in the city of Valencia, in Spain. The term Falles refers to both the celebration and the monuments created during the celebration. A number of towns in the Valencian Community have similar celebrations inspired by the original one in Valencia. Each neighbourhood of the city has an organized group of people, the Casal faller, that works all year long holding fundraising parties and dinners, usually featuring the famous specialty paella. Each casal faller produces a construction known as afalla which is eventually burnt. A casal faller is also known as a comissiĆ³ fallera.
 





The festival is composed of many festivities including fireworks, street light decoration, parades and music. It's noisy and busy and there are a lot of people. I was alone for two days, but there was so much to do, that I never once actually felt alone. It could've been the several thousand people all around all the time. Despite what you read in the tourist blogs, stay in the city centre. The fireworks and noise dies out at around 2am and trust me, you'll still be awake. Sleep when you're dead. The fireworks and Calle Cuba and Calle Sueca are reasons alone to stay awake. The two calles (streets) are decorated with thousands od LED lights. I did a blogpost a looooong time ago on one of these streets, but I never dreamed I would ever see one. It was so beautiful. Goosebump stuff!

As Wikipedia said, the main attraction of the festival, are the Fallas, which are these huge sculptures. They are artistic marvels. I truly have never seen anything of that scale so beautifully crafted. The attention to detail is impeccable. It's comparable to being in Disney Land, however more surreal because the each Fallas tells a sort of narrative story in a three dimensional way.



On Sunday there was a parade of the woman and girls of Valencia, dressed in traditional costumes carrying flowers in L'Ofrena floral. In this event, a floral offering is taken by each falla casal to Saint Mary. A statue of Saint Mary in the Plaza Virgen and it's large pedestal are then covered with all the flowers.




To sum up Las Fallas: Amazing! I would like to go back to Valencia to experience it without Fallas, as it is a town filled with beautiful architecture and cultural heritage, but I am glad I didn't miss Fallas. The experience has given me some inspiration and recharged my batteries. If you're ever in Spain around the middle of March, do it! It is incredible! I think the pictures speak for themselves!


Now you may enjoy my badly shot and unedited video of Calle Cuba streetlights synchronized to music!




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