There is a road from the eye to the heart
that does not go throught the intellect
-K.Chesterton

3/12/2010

Valencia.....the triumph of fire!

Does the smell of gunpowder excite you? Does the sight of flames make you smile? Do you harbor pyrotechnic urges that are only socially acceptable on the Fourth of July? ...Well, Las Fallas de Valencia is your kind of event--a loud, smoky, rowdy fiesta where the whole town is literally set ablaze!"


VLC Valencia Incredible But True

Ari

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La Planta " officially starts today, lasting until tomorrow morning when all the Fallas monuments should be completed. It's a 5-day long party on the streets with beautifully crafted , colourful monuments on every corner of the streets that can be as high as 23 meters, spectacular fireworks at night (Valencia has a good reputation of complex yet aesthetic fireworks), heavy explosions during the daily 7-minute "mascletá" that are so skillfully orchestred they become "melodic", women in beautiful traditional dresses on the streets, food stalls with thick hot chocolate in which you can dip "buñuelos" (fritters)...... and much more




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There are a few different theories regarding the origin of the Falles festival.  One theory suggests that the Falles started in the Middle Ages ,when artisans put out their broken artifacts and pieces of wood that they sorted during the winter then burnt them to celebrate the spring equinox. Valencian carpenters used planks of wood to hang their candles on. These planks were known as parots. During the winter, these were needed to provide light for the carpenters to work by. With the coming of the Spring, they were no longer necessary, so they were burned.

 With time, and the intervention of the Church, the date of the burning of these parots was made to coincide with the celebration of the festival of Saint Joseph the patron saint of the carpenters. 


Las Fallas is undoubtedly one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain (a country known for unique and crazy festivals). What started as a feast day for St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, has evolved into a 5-day, multifaceted celebration of fire.


Valencia is usually a quiet city with a population of a half-million, but the town swells to an estimated three million flame-loving revelers during las Fallas.


Las Fallas literally means "the fires" in Valencian. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of ninots--huge cardboard, wood and plaster statues--that are placed .


The ninots are extremely life like and usually depict bawdy, satirical scenes and current events (lampooning corrupt politicians and Spanish celebrities is particularly popular


They are crafted by neighborhood organizations and take about six months to construct (and often cost upwards of US$75,000). Many ninots are several stories tall and need to be moved into position with cranes .The ninots remain in place until March 19th, the day known as "La Crema."



All Fallas burn all over the city the following night (including the winner of the competition) in a tremendous spectacle of fire and joy. Starting in the early evening, young men with axes chop holes in the statues and stuff them with fireworks.





The crowds start to chant, the streetlights are turned off, and all of the ninots are set on fire at exactly the stroke of midnight.And each year, one of the ninots is spared from destruction by popular vote and exhibited in the local Museum of the Ninot along with the other favorites from years past a bawdy Disneyland, the Fourth of July and the end of the world!"

 


Over the years, the local firemen, have devised unique ways to protect the town’s buildings from torching along with the ninots, such as by neatly covering storefronts with fireproof tarps. 
 
 

The origin of Las Fallas is a bit murky, but most credit the fires as an evolution of pagan rituals that celebrated the onset of spring and the planting season. In the sixteenth century, Valencia used streetlights only during the longer nights of winter. The street lamps were hung on wooden structures, called parots, and as the days became longer the now-unneeded parots were ceremoniously burned on St. Joseph’s Day. Even today the fiesta has retained its satirical and working-class roots, and the well-to-do and faint-of-heart of Valencia often ditch out of town for Las Fallas.

Besides the burning of the ninots, there is a myriad of other activities during the fiesta.
During the day, you can check out the extensive roster of bullfights, parades, paella contests and beauty pageants around the city. Spontaneous fireworks displays occur everywhere during the days leading up to "La Crema", but another highlight is the daily mascletá which occurs in the Plaza Anyuntamiento at exactly 2pm.



When the huge pile of firecrackers is ignited, the ground literally shakes for the next ten minutes.

 



Someone said :
It’s exhilarating, alarming, horrendously noisy…and one of the most unforgettable experiences that any foreigner is ever likely to have in Spain .

Mascletá  3-12-2010)  ....I love it !! :D ..It's just crazy !



Here my daugter dressing in traditional suits and ornate gowns .This custom-made dress toguether with the rest of stuff are handmade ...all is a reproduction of all that things the women used to wear in the 18th and 19th .The women's long gowns are brightly colored and trimmed with beads and
 lace.

 
"Life is a flame that is always burning itself out, but it catches fire again every time a child is the born" .

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