Friday, March 23, 2012

Preview of Fallas?

I know, I know, Fallas was last weekend and I have yet to post anything.

This week has been really busy with working long hours (as Spain's work schedule normally is...) and getting stuff together for a mini weekend trip to Barcelona with my parents.

But I thought I'd share this with you, since it's like a little taste of the many things I will talk about in another, more extensive post (or maybe more than one post...there's a lot to discuss).

Lucia's school sold these little ribbon bracelets for a fundraiser, and I went to the website because I wanted to see what else they offered. They look like they are all Valencian-themed (since Fallas only takes place here), so I would assume their HQ is here as well.

Anyways, here is a bracelet design (one that I didn't buy) that explains the essence of all of Fallas in one simple picture....

Check out the Fallas bracelets at
How cute is this? So let me explain, since all of this is in Castellano (Spanish) or Valenciano.

Plantà: This is the act of "planting" the fallas in their place. Each Casal Faller sets up their falla in a designated spot, with help from the artist and sometimes cranes. Then, a few nights before the burning, they put down sod to cover up the ugly wooden feet or foam glue they use to keep it into place.

Chocolate con buñuelos: Hot chocolate so thick it's like pudding, and buñuelos are little fried dough blobs covered in sugar. They are sold all over the place in carnival-like pop-up stands sprinkled throughout the city.

Mascletà: Every day during Fallas season (beginning March 1st), at 2pm they set off a huge fireworks/firecracker show called the mascletà. They goal: make it as loud as possible. We watched one on TV during last weekend and there was a decibel meter on the side of the screen. Towards the end of the 10-minute show of smoke and pops, the decibels reached 125. Yes, that is super loud. Doctors recommend you exposed yourself to less than 15 min a day of 125dB to avoid permanent hearing damage.

La ofrenda: The falleras get dressed up and march towards the Plaza de la Virgen with flowers in tow. They bring them to the plaza, and they are arranged into beautiful bouquets that are several stories high. More pictures to come.

Nit del Foc: A giant fireworks show during fallas festival on the final night. Other firework shows take place prior to this, but this one is the biggest. Literally translated "Night of fire."

La cremà: The burning of the fallas monuments.

Verbena: Outdoor street parties. None in particular, just the entire ambiance. This is a noisy holiday.

Paella: It's Valencia. Paella is a given.

Pasacalles: Informal parades throughout the city. Kind of like each casal faller saying "We're loud and we're proud to be a Casal!" They have a marching band follow them and carry their flag in front of the group. They sing, dance, and march.

Despertà: Each morning during fallas festival, at 8am, people start doing those pasacalles, playing marching band music as loud as they can. Falleros and falleras follow them, throwing firecrackers and those little popping fire snaps. With the music alone, I felt like I was living on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras.

No comments:

Post a Comment