Breaking up with Fallas

Dear God in Heaven. How long can Fallas go on? I mean, actually how many hours a day, # of fireworks, parades, more parades, marching bands, more fireworks, light shows and people and more people. Dear Lord, we have only been here 2 and a half weeks and we’re Fallas’d out.

I’m including pictures from our venturing out yesterday. We had spent most of Saturday in bed watching Netflix, stocking up at the Mercadona, and generally being very lazy and napping. But that didn’t mean we weren’t participating in Fallas. Because no matter where you are in Valencia, even buried in a hole, you’ll experience Fallas every moment of every day and night, whether you want to or not.

The booms and even bigger booms, all night long. The laser light show in the vacant lot near our house and the music, blasting until 4am this morning, along with BOOMs that shook the windows! We are so tired today and it’s not because we had a rough weekend of Fallas activities. Its because you can’t sleep in this city for an entire week. If we had flown in this last Thursday it would have been perfect. The jet lag would have lined up just right.

So many people I know here, old timers who have been to more than one Fallas, left town. They’re in Toledo, Seville and Madrid. They got the HELL OUTTA DODGE. Why? Well, because it’s Fallas!! And nothing about Fallas is small. No. It’s all over the top and a little hodge podge.

Little Fallera

There are parts of Fallas that are charming. The parade yesterday of Fallera who are bringing flowers to the Plaza de la Virgin to make her cape and dress out of red and white flowers. Lovely. (see pics) The parade went on for something like 8 hours. An interesting tradition.

Fallera flowers

Virgin Marry's cape

Then we went to Rusafa to see the light show at 8pm. Jeff’s take on it?

‘Wow – the 80’s showed up finally.’

It was a lighting loop with a Pink Floyd sound track that he found surprisingly appropriate. ‘Run Like Hell’ played over the cheesy display. We left after 5 minutes, or tried to. It was so packed we couldn’t move.

Light show

Then we came home and laid in bed to noise that would shame a Fraternity during Hell Week. Tonight is the ‘Crema’. This is when they’ll burn the Fallas. We can’t wait for this because it will be over. Officially OVER. The booms and the music and the Oompa Bands, that just now marched down our street for the 400th time – yeah, they’ll all be gone.

And next year? We’ll be in Toledo or some other non-Fallas place where blissful sleep for that week will be in our future.

Celebrating Fallas

We’re embracing the festival of Fallas and we’ve made some new friends who offered to show us what Fallas is all about. We met in the Plaza de Ayuntament, where the mascleta is blown off every day at 2pm and at midnight on weekends.ย  The large fallas in the plaza is the falla for everyone who visits the city. It’s so they can feel a part of the celebration, even though they don’t have a fallas of their own from their home neighborhood.

There are over 700 fallas (monuments or effigies) erected at intersections around the city. Each area has a group of Fallero or Fallera who plan, coordinate, raise money for and build the fallas for their area. It’s some people’s full time job. And in the photos below you can see why.

They are truly works of art and the tradition goes back a thousand years. It’s evolved over time and morphed during Franco’s time. He loved Fallas and had a balcony built just so he could overlook the mascleta and enjoy the parade from the town hall.

Each Fallas group selects a Fallara who will represent their fallas. Each fallas must have one of these girls to represent them in parades, etc. Each girl selected must have 4 dresses and all the combs, etc. which are very expensive. A dress is about 7-10 thousand euros – EACH! So you can not be poor and be a Fallera. Some families take out loans to pay for it – it’s an honor.

The fallas are both whimsical and play to local politics, the politics of Spain (think Catalonya) and international politics. In our pictures you will see ALOT of mocking of Donald Trump. I took some photos of those. My favorite is the one titled ‘Air Force Juan’ because I love puns. One Especial Fallas was titled ‘Egos’ and outlined all the events of the year where BIG Egos were front and center. You’ll see a photo I called ‘The Three Amigos’ from that Fallas.

Each of these fallas below, will be burned on the 19th between 10pm and 1am. It’s symbolizes the coming of Spring. Burning the old and welcoming the new. A very Buddhist concept in a very Catholic country.

After our 6 mile walk today, we sat down with our new friends and had breakfast and learned all about the area. Tomorrow, we’ll go to the lighting on Cuba street and I’ll post photos of those. It looks like it will be spectacular!

 

Nature
Rusafa – Fallas 2018
Rusafa 3
Rusafa – Fallas 2018
Rusafa 4
Rusafa – Fallas 2018
Train station
Nord train station – Fallas 2018
Colon
Colon – Fallas 2018
DT and PUTIN and UN
The Three Amigos – Fallas 2018
DT and UN missles
DT and RocketMan Fallas 2018
DT on Air Force Juan
Riding AirForce Juan – DT Fallas 2018
DT puppet
DT – Fallas 2018
Especiale 2
Fallas 2018
Especiale
Fallas Especiale
Fallayeria
Fallayera – Fallas 2018
girls on parade
Fallayera – Fallas 2018
Nature
Fallas 2018
New Friends
New Friends
Plaza de Ayundamente
Plaza de Ayuntament – Valencia Fallas 2018