Ohhhh people, FALLAS are becoming more and more serious over here!
My parents just arrived two days ago and came to see me and Valencia during the Fallas, this fantastic, spectacular traditional celebration here in Valencia.
It’s quite difficult to describe what it is but here goes one try: Being a tradition from the 15th century, when when artisans put out their broken tools that they sorted during the winter and then burnt them to celebrate the spring. Throughout changes in traditions, these tools were painted and then given clothing so that it looked like actual people. Collecting more material and making bigger fires then other craftsmen became sporty and developed into a truly spanish “i-can-bigger-then-you”-thing: Today associations are formed (hundreds of people), which nowadays keep the tradition alive and compete over the tallest and most impressive Falla-figure (pictures following soon). These statues are up to 15m high and sometimes larger then 20m!! – All made of paper and combustible material though!!
Until 19th of March, when all these figures are being burnt, Valencia turns into a touristic highlight and offers more than any bored master student could actually make use of. Traditionally, one of the most important things here seems to be crackers (and fireworks in general). The main goal seems to be: “The louder the better”. As a matter of fact, EVERY DAY at 2.00h in the main plaza, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, there is being held a MAZCLETÀ, a competition of professional pyrotechnicians which is exclusively about how much noise you can make with fireworks. Top score so far: 134 Decibel (Note: This is WAY more than your eardrums would actually support. I’ve been told that the best thing is to open your mouth and not plumb you ears – this supposedly amplifies the bone-shaking vibrations to one’s eardrums!!!
Anyway: Pure Madness here in Valencia: Open Air Concerts, Cinema, Free food, Parades, Mazcletas, Street Art, Exhibitions, HUGE Fireworks – estoy flipando en colores!
Photos already in Facebook and coming up here soon