I see my mind as a tapestry woven through with memories, dreams and thoughts.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Fallas

Today is Fallas Day in Valencia, also St. Joseph's Day and therefore Fathers' Day. It also marks the arrival of Spring.

We walked around Oliva town to look at the Fallas creations.

This one is the winner of the 'Grand Premi' (Valenciano)





It will be burned, the last of the six, being the winner, at around 3am Sunday morning. The surrounding buildings will be hosed by the fire brigade as this happens, so that they do not catch fire. The children will cry when the small children's Falla, situated alongside the main Falla, burns.

The Fallas themes are usually politically motivated, making fun of politicians and public figures - and often rather naughty. All ages, from babies to grandparents ... and great gradnparents ... attend the burnings. It is the most important festival of the year as it originated out of repression and supression of free speech, which is why the figures (tiny at first - cloths draped over old candle holders by carpenters clearing out their workshops at the end of winter) were used to speak out and give vent to feelings. There is always humour attached ... as is the Spanish way.





The surrounding figurines are called 'ninots' (silliness). Each year, someone manages to steal away one and save it from burning.

9 comments:

Spangle said...

I have also been going around town taking photos of the ninots today! I love taking photos of the different designs every year and I hate to think that these beautiful creations will be a pile of ashes by tomorrow. I didn't know that the word 'ninot' means 'silliness'.

Interesting fact and a great post!

VildesVerden said...

Looks like fun!
Happy weekend wishes from Norway

aguja said...

Spangle - I thought that you might be around.

Vildes - it is! Thank you for stopping by.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I love it that they are celebrating free speech in this fun, creative way. Your post made my day!

Melissa Sarno said...

This is fascinating! Beautiful pictures. I love the idea of expressing yourself when you've been silenced. Enjoy the festival!

T Opdycke said...

How did I miss this one? I've never heard of Fallas, but a colorful tradition. It sounds like such fun with a serious meaning behind the festival. Thank you for sharing!

Olga said...

It was so interesting to read your post about the festival. Some of the ladies appear very courageous :)

Agus said...

Arte por todas partes, algún año me escaparé..., gracias por tú descripción de las fallas....

aguja said...

Thank you all! great comments!
I love it so, because it began as an inspired outlet. Human beings have enormous resource and it shows that we cannot ever really be silenced.