Well, I am living abroad...yet again. After Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Korea the Netherlands (and returning to Spain for a Masters) I've unpacked my backpack a little closer to home in Mexico. I live in Culiacan where I am trying my hand at teaching English to University and high school students. Below you'll find random updates as I go to festivals, explore my city or just feel like sharing a random story.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Las Fallas

4 years ago I wrote this e-mail:

"Just got back rom Las Fallas and it was awesome! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Las Fallas (and I´ll take bets that's most of you) it is a festival that is essentially celebrating San Jose (it takes place on Spanish Father Day..which reminds me...Happy late Spanish Father´s day daddy) but as with moth Christian holidays we stole it.

Like many Spanish festivals, Las Fallas was, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, a simple pagan ritual that celebrated the Spring Equinox - the longest day of the year - and the subsequent coming of summer. Basically an excuse to celebrate by burning things! The religious view now (much like most adopted holidays) was added later by Spain's mega-religous leaders. Granted it wasn't that hard since carpenters were involved and San Jose kinda rocks those.

The history goes a little something like this:

In 15th-century Valencia when fall started to come and the days got shorter, artisans and carpenters had to spend the last few hours of the work day working by the light of oil lamps hung from crafted wooden "parots." When spring came the days got longer and the artisans would celebrate by burning the "parots," along with all the other stuff that had accumulated (wood shavings, extra cuts of lumber and random broken things).

Eventually (or purpose all of a sudden) the workers added a creative touch, by decorating the lamp post with rags and a hat, and voila! It was a human! They became called, "Ninot Falla (Doll Fire)". Around the mid-18th century groups would get together and arrange them in a funny scene.

Now they are AMAZING!!! Some of these (basically gigantic papermache creations...but with wax and wood) are larger than the buildings surrounding it, and they often have cute little morals, stories, or limericks around them. Thankfully I went with Brion who managed to translate a lot more than I did (it wasn't exactly in Spanish, one of those other Spanish languages*) They can cost up to €120,000! Its definately instense! Theres also parades, they create a big Virgin (as in Mary) out of flower and change the pattern on her dress every year and she doent get burned ( P.S: Why is there always a Virgin in like every friggin catholic city, I mean I love Mary as much as the next girl, but I think other saints are appearing the the public just gets confused sees a lady and calls her the virgin)

They have music! People in costumes, fireworks...fireworks, and oh yeah fireworks, it was like fourt of july, on speed. I had to take a bus back on Sunday night for school on Monday (I am SUCH a good student) went to school gave a PERFECT presentation in my Prado Art class (as in the teach said he hadn't heard one that good in years!) and then (in honor of Jeff who reminded me to take advantage of everything I could while over here) bought another ticket back to Valencia right after school to witness the burning of the fallas. So worth the 36 Euros let me tell you!

OK, I am writing this in between classes so I shall end it here. Overall had a GREAT time would definitely do it again and am glad that it happened.

I hope everything is going well at home!

Muchos Besos,


Well it is 4 years later and I did go again! Still an amazing time and still glad I did it :) (though this time I didn't take pictures, so here are some from last time)

When they burn the stuff!
BIG fallas
An older one (clearly) depicting one of the more popular political themes at the time

No comments: