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Las Fallas

Listed under Festivals in Valencia, Spain.

  • Photo of Las Fallas
  • Photo of Las Fallas
  • Photo of Las Fallas
Photo of Las Fallas
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The Spanish have a thing for mixing raging parties with patron saints, and Las Fallas comes with the added touch of a burning effigy party and all things pyro. The fiery event has taken place since the city's pagan days and incorporates a myriad of traditions in a show-stopping, heated event. It used to be that San José - the Saint of Carpenters - was celebrated on the spring equinox. The local carpenters used the occasion to burn their wooden winter candleholders, called candelabra. That tradition morphed into a good excuse to light stuff on fire, period. Consequently, the bonfires have been outlawed more times than Henry the Eighth was married. Today the Fire Festival is an event that's so sweltering hot you'll think it was already summertime. It's also a week of puppets as Valencia fills with several hundred strange, intricate and otherwise weird fallas effigies propped up around the city. The wood and papier-mâché effigies are generally critical or humorous portrayals of historic and contemporary world events and figures. Some are so big they take months to construct and locals spend the time to do it in order to compete with their neighbors in an efficgy-making match. You’ll get a good laugh out of the puppet political cartoons. To join in the action all you'll need are a few glasses of sangria, a healthy respect for both carpenters and whatever the political slant of the day is, and a few sets of heat-resistant clothes.

Written by  Jared.

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