Friday, April 13, 2012

Fallas Photos!

Remember when I said I'd post Fallas pictures? Well, that time has come, finally. 

As with my previous photo post, please click the photos to enlarge them. I made them super small to load faster. 

First, we start a few days before Las Fallas weekend, when Lucas and Lucia each had their own fallas monuments at school. Lucas' school didn't burn them (the kids are too little) but they did put them out on display. Lucas' class's theme was spiders. Each kid made a spider in class, and if they wanted to, they could make one at home. His is the giant one on top (the one he made at home) with the purple Play-Dough eyes...

The other classes' monuments.

You'll notice from now on a lot of these artist-looking shirts. These are typical fallas shirts, and basically what I wore all weekend long (the kids did, too, along with all of Cristina's friends). They have a few buttons on top, then just flow down. Obviously you need to wear a shirt underneath. Sometimes people wear it with a handkerchief around the neck.

Dani and Lucas, playing with the little cars after school in the play area.

Lucia's class's falla monument. The theme was a garden. You may remember she goes to an English school, hence the obvious signage.

Lucia, after the falla burned. It kind of looks like it's her fault.

Our falla monument was just a block away from the casal. On Thursday night we "moved in" to the apartment in the city to be close to all of the activities downtown and with the casal. That is the best night to go out and see the other falla monuments throughout the city, since there are very few tourists. We went out from 1am-4am to check out the monuments. And surprisingly, there were many people doing the same (although not nearly as many as I would imagine on Fri or Sat night).

Some of the makeup setups from the falla. Gothic, warpaint and cubist paintings/makeup.

The main "doll."

See more photos after the page break!

Our falla infantil, with a storybook theme.

Close-ups of the ninots.

More of our large falla. Ugly makeup, fancy paintings...

Pippi Longstocking and crew, Homer Simpson painting...
Lucia and Maria being goofs with the falla in the background.

Remember that naked woman statue? Now you know she was getting tattooed. 

Remember in that other post about Las Fallas where I said the large ones could be rude/crude/disturbing? Welcome to  the posters of male/female pubic hair styles.

Gothic painting/makeup
 After seeing our falla monument, we went out to the most expensive ones (as you may remember from my other post, these are obviously the biggest and best, which win every year) around the city to see/gawk/take pictures.

One of the best ones, I thought, had a DaVinci theme. It featured a huge DaVinci head that passersby could walk underneath. Inside/under his beard was a solar system. Surrounding him were life-size (or bigger) versions of his inventions, ideas, and artwork.
The renaissance man himself.
 As I may have mentioned before, Marina's falla was in one of the top bracket falla groups, which meant we saw it while browsing the other expensive ones. Every 10 minutes it would play music and rotate. So cute.

The Hospital-themed falla from the same casal that Marina designed the infantil for.  This is a line for the emergency room. The first woman says she is s***ing herself, the second one is a naked couple twisted around holding a copy of the Kama Sutra, the third a formula 1 driver with a tire in his mouth, and the fourth a magician with his assistant stabbed with various knives. And inside the falla, which pedestrians could enter, features the naked nurse that was covered in a tarp in my previous photos from the warehouse.

The top of the hospital one. You'd think this would topple when burned. Also, it was over 4 stories high. 

A circus-themed falla

Huh. Wonder why this casal won "best light show."

French-themed falla, featuring can-can dancers, the Eiffel Tower, le Moulin Rouge, Casablanca ("We'll always have Paris"), etc.

Baby Gaga, from a falla infantil.

Lucia and Lucas with Lucas' school's mascots. He had to take pictures for Peca y Lino (their names)'s vacation journal.

Fallas is a time of noise. That means firecrackers. It's funny because here they are packaged and sold as if they were candy. They are marketed to kids, and you can even buy a fun little box with an assortment of firecrackers, poppers, smoke bombs, spark fountains, a lighter and wicking (to light multiple things without using a match that burns too quickly) all boxed up with a  nice little handle to carry around. Maria and Lucia, being the older ones (at ages 5 and 6), would help Lucas/Dani light stuff up and toss them. Note the girls wearing their casal's fleece jacket.

Maria lighting firecrackers.

Whatcha doin? Oh, just lighting firecrackers.
Saturday night was paella night. That is big, but not as big as others I have seen. Pictured, from left: Marina, Laura, me, Maria, Cristina (host mom), Monica, Cristina. 
 Sunday was the day for the ofrenda, which as you remember is when they get dressed up in their fallera/fallero clothes and walk to the virgin plaza with their flower offerings.

Fallas outfit trivia:
-The skirts are heavy. I don't know how heavy exactly, but all of Cristina's friends had hip bruises the day following the ofrenda from wearing these skirts for only a couple hours. Imagine the fallera mayor of the casal faller, who has to wear these types of dresses all day for four days straight. She probably had hip blisters.

- It is typical for people to have more than one fallera outfit. Monica has at least four, for example. These dresses, as you can imagine, can get pretty pricey, some costing around $1000 or more. The fallera mayor of the entire city, who is like a local celeb, often has 10 or more dresses.

-Despite looking old-fashioned, the dress styles can go in and out of style. You can look up fallera dresses from the 1960s, and they were tea-length (just longer than the knees but higher than the ankles) to keep in fashion with the styles of the era. Right now, silver hair combs and accessories are popular again, as opposed to the gold styles. These changing styles are not so easy to change, however. Often a dress will have gold accents or beading, so you can't change the relatively cheap haircombs to change the whole style. You'd have to change the whole dress, which of course costs a lot.
These are the dresses, suits, shirts, pants, corsets, etc of the whole family. Not pictured:  20 boxes of jewelry, hair combs, shoes, and other accessories.

Cristina let me try on her dress for some pictures to show you guys!
Little girls traditionally wear white veils, women wear black. And the veils are only worn during the ofrenda, not during other Fallas activities.

Check out this underskirt. It stands up on its own.

The girls all dressed up. They have identical dresses except for the colored piping on the bottom of the bodice and the corresponding ribbon that hangs down the back. Lucia has blue, Maria has purple.

Maria's Princess Leia buns, pre-veil.

The final step.

Lucas' fallas wear: knee socks, baggy black gaucho pants, little buckled shoes, a white blouse, a blanket-scarf, and a brocade vest.

Cristina taking a pic of Lucas with Peca y Lino.

Dani all set, with his headscarf and all.

Not shown: The pain/frustration in Lucas' eyes from wearing this headscarf. It was a battle.

After this photo was taken, a tourist asked to take a pic of his family member with Cristina and her family.

Yes, even babies wear fancy fallera gowns. Pictured: Dani staring at Nachete's little new-born sister (Maria's niece)

Maria Carmen, Laura, Marina, Cristina, Maria, prepared for the ofrenda, flowers and all.

(front)Laura, Maria Carmen, Marina, Mayte, Pichon, Maria, Cristina

Jose Enrique with Maria

The whole family (Monica didn't dress up because she is 6 months pregnant, and as you can imagine, can't quite fit into a corset).

The casal faller's flag

Moments before entering the virgin plaza

Cristina's friends before entering the plaza. The order of the people in each casal is as follows: Children, families, single men, single women, and couples.

Pichon, Jose Enrique, Josep for costume night

Mayte, Marina, Maria, Josep, Laura (front) Maria Carmen (back), Me, Cristina, Pichon. We were robin hood/peter pan (the costume bag's description was undecided). 

A mini mascleta set up outside our home in Godella. 

Monday's costume day for the kids. My host family already left for Andorra, and here are Dani and Maria as a fireman and Minnie Mouse.

All the kids from costume day. Can you spot Dani and Maria?

All the flowers gathered in the virgin plaza. And there were LOTS of flowers (remember, over 300 something casal fallers in the city. Each female brings flowers. That's a LOTTA flowers). 

Trellises decorated with flowers.

Isa, one of Cristina's friends, belongs to L'Antiga casal faller, and this was their bouquet (in the middle).

A bike bouquet!

A close up of a trellis.

This is the Virgin Mary. Her entire dress is a cage that they fasten flowers to.  It is really, really really tall. At the bottom of the pic, you can see where people's heads are.

Detailed flower close-up view

And of course I got plenty of video footage, which includes the burning of Lucia's falla monument (from school) as well as our casal faller's infantil one. I got more video of all the other cool falla monuments throughout the city, and tons of other fun goings on (like toddlers setting off firecrackers!). More to come...

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