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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Las Fallas

fallas, falla, spain, valencia, gandia,
"Las Fallas in Gandia"

On the 15th of March, several hundreds of these enormous sculptures pop up on the streets throughout the Valencian communities. This is the beginning of the great festival of the region - the Fallas. Surrounded by fireworks, carnivals, traditional dress and dance and music for 4 days, these sculptures all go up in flames in the end. Las Fallas is known as one of the craziest festivals in Europe.

The Fallas is the biggest annual celebration in Valencian region. It is a world famous street party, a spectacular celebration of Valencian tradition. During the year, communities - also called "fallas" - construct huge colourful Fallas-Sculptures (2 each = around 800 in total) made of wood and papier-mache. The fallas are usually satirical in content and often elaborate works of art, some as high as 25 metres.

On the 15th of March, the fallas get planted throughout the communities. On 16th, it is the folkloric carnival. On 17th and 18th, it is the Offer of the Flowers – a wooden silhouette of the Virgin in the plaza de la Virgin is filled in with carnations, brought by traditional parades in full colours and music. On 19th, it is the Carnival of Fire, and all the Fallas-Sculptures get simultaneously burned to the cheers of the crowd.

Thus is commemorated the coming of spring.

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