The Fallas Valencia, Las Fallas de Valencia (in Valencian Las Falles)
In Valencia, during the Fallas, they build and later burn gigantic works of art. They make a flower offering to Our Lady of the Forsaken, standing in front of the basilica and ,,weave” her colourful mantle with carnations. Everybody throws petards, there is such a noise in the streets as if the city had been conquered by heavy artillery.
Valencia, the capital of the autonomous community of the same name, attracts tourists with beautiful beaches and a number of holidays, which are a delight for the eye and a menace for the ear. The best known are Las Fallas (in the local dialect, the word falla in the Middle Ages referred to the torches placed on watchtowers, later to the bonfires lit during the celebrations). The festival is visited by a million visitors every year, and that is a really a mass of people! In 2016, it was added to UNESCOś Intangible cultural heritage of humanity list.
This tradition may be related to pagan rituals celebrating the coming of spring, but the more popular version is that it started at the end of the fifteenth century. On the eve of St. Joseph, the patron of carpenters, woodworkers used to clean their workshops. They jumbled up some unnecessary logs, shavings and other waste, along with a parot, a high wood structure in the shape of a cross, on which an oil lamp hung in the dark winter months. With the arrival of longer days, they didn’t need it anymore. Then they set fire to the pile and went to have fun.
One day, a carpenter with a sense of humour probably dressed the wooden "skeleton" into old clothes, which made it look like a dummy (in Valencian “ninot”).
The fun took over, the figures gradually assumed human look and mocked burghers, politicians or an unpleasant neighbour. An important milestone was the eighteenth century when the building of monuments consisting of several characters began; and their size slowly grew…