It wasn't planned, but we were incredibly lucky to be in Spain for the end of The Falles (or Fallas...I saw both spellings all throughout Spain). It's a two week celebration that ends with the "Crema", the burning of the Falles which are these amazing paper-mâché statues. It symbolizes the start of the spring equinox where everything left over from the cold days is burned. The statues themselves usually satirize politics, culture or the economy. I can't say what it's like during the start of the celebration but the last night is truly amazing! ALL DAY LONG we heard fireworks going off. I've never heard or seen anything like it!
Our evening started with the parade of fire at Porta de la Mar.
Look at all those people!
They were literally climbing on everything to get a better look.
I had to stand on a light post with the hubby propping me up. My pictures of the parade aren't that great and unfortunately didn't totally capture the insanity.
It started with a band and flag dancers.
Then the court of princesses were next. There were both a court of children and a court of young women. The men in the red hooded robes seemed to be some sort of devil...but that's just me guessing.
There was also a long dragon that was shooting off fireworks as it walked by and women dressed like princesses on stilts. It ended with a huge fire works display-unlike any other I've ever seen.
Las Fallas are scattered all throughout the city. We were able to see a few as we walked around.
This pictures gives you perspective on how big they really are.
This one was about the evolution of the bikini.
This is the sculpture we watched burn.
And here's how it all went down...
It wasn't really in our plans to watch the crema. We had been traveling for almost two days straight and even though we took a long nap we were EXHAUSTED! The official burning of the Falles was at 1:30am and we knew we'd never make it that late. Fortunately for us they burn the children's Falles at the reasonable hour of 8:30pm.
As we are standing there watching them prep the Falles for it's burn I was in total awe!
First they took a 20 foot piece of what I thought was rope and tied on one end of the statue and the other end to a street light. It wasn't rope. It was a fuse of sorts that had little hanging fireworks on it. The yellow things are the fire works. Again, look at all those people!!! Remember, this is just for ONE of the children's Falles. Can you imagine what the turn-out was for the bigger ones???
This guy, who seemed to be in charge, was walking around with a two liter Coca-Cola bottle filled with some sort of lighter fluid. Later he poured it all over the Falles.
Then they gave a match to these two little girls who seemed to be about 11-years-old, and they lit the fuse. Please note how close ALL those people are to the fuse and all the shooting fireworks attached to it!
And then the fun really began...
Seriously it was AMAZING! I was about 20 feet away and still managed to get hit IN THE HEAD by a stray firework...totally worth it.
Here is what they were going to use for the bigger sculptures...can you imagine that fireworks display?!?!? Those are some serious fireworks!
After the burning was over I had one more street beer and we headed back to the hotel where we fell asleep to the continual sound of fireworks!
Such a great way to be introduced to a new place!