Yes, yes, I know I have written a lot about Las Fallas, the incredible festival that arrives with a bang every March and keeps on banging until it catches fire on March 19. But one thing is saved every year… a sculpture from the winning falla presentation. It’s a big deal, since the event basically turns Valencia on its head as different casals fallers, or Falla (pronounced FIE-yuh) clubhouses compete for the annual honor of having the most recognized falla in the city.
There. Can be. Only. One.
And that one surviving momento of a year’s worth of planning ends up in the Fallas Museum, a decidedly oddball and fascinating collection of sculptures, artifacts, posters, and creations that represented that year’s falla sculptures throughout the city. It won’t take long to go through the museum, and it’s a great addition to any day near the City of Arts and Sciences, but it is a must-see slice of Valencian history.
From the funny to bawdy, and the serious to intense, these fallas are a good representation of the amazing artistry that takes all year to culminate in a collection of sculptures that is burned at the end of the festival, lit ablaze by fireworks and signaling the end of winter into spring. In this museum, the life of the city is reflected in themes, satirical representations, and even playful representations of the importance of this festival. (Want to see more about this history? Check out this post!) Many of the fallas poke serious fun at the world, and might be a little… ahem… inappropriate. Okay, maybe a lot. However, I choose to look at this as a reflection of the times, helping me understand the history of this amazing festival.
This one was titled “Prehistoric Romance.”
I found this one fascinating… it’s called “Moors and Christians.” Clearly, there is a context here that I didn’t expect!
I know… the artistry is pretty intense. There is, as I understand it, a guild of Fallas artists that the various casals fallers go to when they are discussing designs. There are warehouses just outside of the city where the different pieces are constructed, then shipped into the city and touched up before the final presentation. A friend of a friend is a fallas artist, and his work has won several times… and I am always amazed at the variety and creativity of the sculptures. The materials used to be wood, but now they are wood, foam, and other materials. I can’t say it’s good for the environment, but it is pretty durn interesting! -Christopher
Hey Chris, which Falla won this year?
Hi, Sandra, to be honest, I have no idea. I know that there are several sites that just focus on Las Fallas, so check out the interwebs to see what’s out there! -Christopher