Valencia on Fallas
Every year, for an entire month the city of Valencia, is transformed by one of the biggest cultural event in Spain.
We are talking about “Las Fallas”, the amazing festival in which you’ll find yourself if you’ll be visiting Valencia after the last Sunday of February ’till the 19th of March, where the last and biggest Mascletas, followed by the burning of each sculpture, will mark the end of the events.
Also known as “Festes de Sant Josep”, since it was dedicated to Saint Joseph, the saint of the carpenter, it was added to UNESCO ‘s intangible cultural heritage of humanity listed on 2016.
During this festival, around the city, are located huge colorful sculptures, called fallas, representing the most important events happened in Spain and in the rest of the world during the year.
Most of them are studied and designed to follow an hilarious, but deep, way to interpretate the facts.
Each neighborhood of the city has its own Casal faller, a group of volunteers that works the whole year to design and produce the paper machè sculpture that is going to be burnt the last day of the event.
During the event it’s impossible to drive your car inside the city, but it will help you walking around, letting you discover a fascinating atmosphere where locals and tourists are both involved in a stream of joy and traditions.
What capture most of these days is the joy and the excitement that all the Comunidad Valenciana get from what’s the spirit of the fallas.
Your eyes will be full of colors, not only from the multiples layers of smoke, made from the multitude of firecracker and fireworks, every time and everywhere, but even from the procession that animate the streets. Thousands and thousands of falleras and falleros walking slowly and regally from one part to the other of the city.
Everyday at 14:00 o’clock La Mascletà‘s starts.
A little preview of what marks the end of Las Fallas, each day of the festival, where the visitors and the locals are able to watch what is just a little bite of what will happen the 19th of March.
The sound slowly rise up, the ground tremble as there is an earthquake.
We are at the Plaça de l’Ajuntament where the pyrotechnics compete for the honor of providing the final Mascletà of the festes.
It’s not an earthquake, but tons of firecrackers.
Impressing the ears that are listening, the eyes that are watching and the feet that are waiting to feel, each day of the festival.
Always a full stalls, staring at this amazing pyrotechnic show.
This events shows and give life to Valencia’s traditions and art, all the works that stands behind the scene of this amazing game of sound and colors, ends up in a night of fires, where all the falles are burned to give space to a new begin and a in a warmest season.
During Las Fallas Valencia gives space to many different kind of events, spreading the verb of culture and fun.
Celebration, that’s what they do.
But our experience was even better than what could be if we were just visiting the city.
Lilia is a Greek photographer, located in Valencia since a couple of decades.
She has been working all around Spain and abroad focusing her attention around travel and architecture photography.
She is working as a freelance photographer for quite a number of news media in Europe, Spain and USA.
Visiting this kind of events as a photographer can be very stressing, especially if it’s your first time there, or even your first time in that city.
What Lilia made for us was sharing her knowledge about the festival, knowing where to be, getting us at the right place in the right moment.
Best places, best view, a “behind the curtain” of a huge event, learning about the real tradition and discovering the huge backstage of all the festival, as well as learning about local culture.
Photographing Las Fallas for years gave to Lilia the time to understand which are the best spots, and what is the best way to interact to certain part of the events.
All the skills that Lilia has earned are at your disposal to help you trough the adventure of creating a reportage, she will be there for you for any advise you are looking for!
Teaching the best approach you should have with your camera during events like Las Fallas, where people around you will not give you the time and the space to shot, or where the speed of the events is your first enemy.
Learn how to deal with this trouble with Lilia!
Pre order the next Valencia on Fallas photo tour and save up to 45%!
This flow it’s exactly what AlterNative is, we are always searching for people really involved with their country, that wants to share their love and their knowledge with the others.
For visitors that are searching a real connection and want to see from a local’s eye.
– All the pictures inside this article were taken from photographers who joined our experience! –
See more of their work in the gallery
HEADER : ph. George Karaan