The magnificent fallas monuments which have been put up throughout Valencia will be on display until Saturday night. But before the nearly 350 monuments go up in smoke, if you can, grab the chance to visit the most impressive structures, and if not, here are some of the winners.
Many of the main fallas are to be found in areas like Quatre Carreres and Ruzafa, but in the old town alone there are three of the nine monuments which make up the Sección Especial, Special Section, which this year has a budget of 2.27 million Euros, 740,000 more than in 2021.
The first prize of the Seccion Especial went to the Falla Convento Jerusalén-Matemático Marzal for the monument ‘2030’ by Pere Baenas, which reflects the 17 Sustainable Goals (ODS Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible) of the United Nations to be achieved by 2030. Their fallera mayor, Cristina Madrero Soria, said “We wanted to make everyone aware of the problem we have and we hope we achieve it.” The monument shows a large wizard in the centre, concerned about the effects of human excesses on the planet. There are large characters representing Flora, Fauna and Mother Earth, all surrounded by elements related to ecology, natural balance and hope.
The falla in Plaza del Pilar, came second in the Seccion Especial and the theme is check mate. As is habitual, the monument seems disproportionately large for the size of the square. but the firefighters will be on hand on Saturday night and the buildings around are protected by special fireproof curtains that are unfurled before the cremà.
Third prize of the Seccion Especial went to Cuba-Literato Azorín for the medieval-themed ‘Excalibur’ by Vicente Martínez, which shows Merlin, King Arthur and Guinevere, and of course, political satire.
The Falla in Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which is paid for by the city council and doesn’t take part in any competitions, is a call to save the planet and the animals that live here, under the title Protegix allò que estimes (Protect what you care about).
Online newspaper Valencia Plaza has a great map showing the location of all the city’s monuments https://valenciaplaza.com/donde-esta-la-falla-valencia
Brexit in Fallas
The Sueca-Literato Azorín Falla is dedicated to Brexit, and depicts a naval dual showing the European Union overrunning a diminished British vessel from which Boris Johnson has no qualms about fleeing in a rubber ring.
Ofrenda in the rain
Despite the heavy rain on Friday, the Ofrenda, the ceremony for offering flowers to the Virgen de los Desamparados, went ahead, albeit under umbrellas and plastic ponchos, and Friday’s processions are also still planned to happen.
Before Sunday morning all the fallas throughout the city will have been burnt and nothing will remain of the glorious statues from the day before. Except, that is, for the ninot, a small character from each falla, which each fallera mayor and fallera mayor infantil are allowed to keep, as well as the ninot indultat, the winner of a competition where a part of one falla is saved and kept for prosperity in the Falla Museum.
The Cremà of the fallas infantiles, the smaller monuments, takes place across the city from 8pm, with the main monuments being burnt two hours later, from 10pm, except for the winner, this year Convento Jerusalén, which will go up in smoke at 10.30pm, while the Ayuntamiento falla is burnt at 11pm. The events can be seen live on à Punt television throughout the evening.