Attempting to assimilate the tradition of Valencia’s Las Fallas itself within my limited paradigm draws to my mind reminiscent impressions of the Third Republic of France, witch burnings, the inquisition and other violent periods witnessed by history, which is bizarrely contrasts considered the air of complete happiness. It’s a festival of energy, and even in the burnings of a full year’s work of craft and skill, the prevailing emotion is of renewal not ending. I found it beautiful, even comforting.
Every Fallas tells a story, and while I may not be the most equipped to interpret them I loved the visuality of ‘a story’ painstakingly created, displayed pridefully. The fact that it was burned only added to the beauty of it all. Nothing is permanent.
Having missed the first three days of the festival, and lacking Valencia, Fiota (fire) is the light by which I will always see the old city. I felt like I’d landed in a fairytale of fireworks, music, and magic.There are places I move through while traveling which I know in my heart I will return to. Valencia is one of them.
Only in the aftermath are things occurring me as bizarre, particularly, the human realism visible in the creations. The first Fallas I witnessed was a massive baby, so in hindsight watching it burn glazes the experience in a surreality.
Another video. Haha, very poignantly punctuated with the playing of the Valencian anthem.
The next morning the Fallas had vanished, the tents put away, and the streets empty as if nothing had ever happened. 🙂