Saint Joseph, the saint of carpenters, is the major focus of the festival. In the middle age when the carpenters use to hang the planks of wood known as “Parots”, in the winter season to secure their candles when they are working. In the starting of the spring, these wood planks are burned and by this, they use to celebrate the end of dark and winter days. Afterwards, they started to put clothes on the “Parots” and then began to make if recognizable with a known famous personality. These became the identification of the ‘’Ninots’’ made of cardboard, wood, Styrofoam, cork or plastic of today. Later, the burning of “Parots” was linked with St. Joseph’s Day
Spain is well known for its unique and different festivals, Las Fallas festival is undoubtedly one of them. It is celebrated to welcome spring season. Las Fallas means ‘’the fire’’ and the festival is organized in Valencia, Spain. The emphasis of the festival is the formation and devastation of the puppets that are huge plaster, wood and card board statues. These statues look lively and depict ironic and humorous scenes and current events. The famous theme of the event is poking the popular politicians and celebrities. It takes around a year to build these puppets and costs a lot to craft them. With the help of cranes, the tall puppets are moved into the parks around the city that is their final location.
Las Fallas Festival celebrations
The puppets or often referred as ninnots, they remain in the final places till March 19th, that day is known as La Crema or the burning. In the evening, young men come with axes and cleverly hide the fireworks in the statues. The street lights are switched off and the crowd starts to chant and sing aloud. At 12 am, midnight, the puppets are all set on fire. The locals, over the years, makes sure that the buildings around are secured and are not set on fire accidently because of the ninnots covering the front parts of the buildings with fireproof covers. Each year, any one puppet is saved from destruction by voting, the one gets most votes is saved and is not burnt. This puppet is called ‘’ninot indultat’’ and then it is kept in the famous museum of ‘’Ninotalong’’ along with other puppets that are already there from years.
The origin of the festival is still doubted but it is celebrated to welcome the spring and planting season. Earlier, in the 16th century, the city of Valencia used streetlights during the longer nights of winter. The street lamps are hung on wooden constructions called “Parots”, as the days becomes longer, the Parots were solemnly burned on St. Joseph’s Day.
Apart from burning of ninnots, there is a series of more activities during the festival. It includes bullfights, parades and beauty pageants. Marvelous fireworks are exploded everywhere during the event days. The firecrackers fall on the ground and shake the floor for 10 minutes
Las Fallas Festival today
Today, the neighboring organizing committees raises the essential finances to build these ‘’ninnots’ There is an area in the city known as “Ciutat Fallera” where all the workers spend days, nights and months to create these beautiful and incredible statues. And famously, now they capture the glimpse of the international celebrities and politicians in these ‘’Ninnots’
A day at the Fallas festival
If you wish to attend the festival, plan for an early day start. Each day of the festival initiates with a wakeup call known as “La Desperta” at 8am. You will witness the loud thunderous music of the marching bands roaring down the streets with those loud firecrackers that makes sure the people are ready for the Show Time. Each night, there is a display of firework on the old river bed. The event gained its importance with time, burning the giant created puppets