“Las Fallas,” the superb street festival per excellence happens every year in March in my beloved Valencia. It features extraordinary artwork, like the one above, which burns to extinction on the night of the 19th of March, Festival of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters. Carpenters, artists and an assorted group of craftsmen and artisans labour throughout the year in the “Ciudad Fallera” region of Valencia. Their work is destined to become a “falla” or a torch and burn to oblivion at the end of the festival. It is a art as ephemeral as a theatre play or a concert. Enjoy it well during its brief lifetime for soon it will be gone forever…except in our mobile phones…and become only a memory.
The picture above is of the falla (basically it can be translated as a “torch”) located at the intersection of Carrer de Cuba and Carrer de Puerto Rico in my neighbourhood of Ruzafa (Russafa in Valenciano). It was recognised as one of the most beautiful and extremely detailed falla of the festival. The message was fantasy and colour, others carry social, political and humorous messages but all burn! An interesting note, which speaks of the professionalism of the Fire Department of the City of Valencia, is that on the night of the 19th of March, eight hundred of these fallas burn in different parts of the city and not a single building, tree or any other part of the city is damaged by runaway fire.
If you wish to see a grand spectacle with colour, art, drama and fireworks, I sincerely recomend you to visit Valencia during the week prior to the 19th of March. During that week you can stroll the streets and visit all the fallas and then you can choose your favourite one to see burn. The festival is city wide and although there were eight hundred fallas in Valencia, the most interesting ones were in the Russafa neighbourhood. The wood, plaster and fiberglass sculptures are judged for their artistry and content before they are torched on St. Joseph’s Night. (The one above ended up in eighth place)
This is just one more art event very evident in the Ruzafa neighbourhood. There are many more. Next June, (2020) Russafa once again celebrates its biannual festival called “Russafart” where all the artists of the neighbourhood open their studios and galleries to the public. This is a truly unique oportunity for all to enjoy a wide array of different styles and genres of art and as well the chance to savour the cuisine and the libations of this unique and cosmopolitan neighbourhood of the third largest city in the Kingdom of Spain.
If you liked this article please share and like and I invite you to follow my pages if you are interested in art and other things…
AND…I also invite you to visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera where you can see many of my artwork, both paintings and drawings.
AND…please visit my online galleries…just to browse…where my new collection of JaZzArt in Valencia can be seen by going to http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155