Day 19. Festival of Fire #SOL2020 Challenge #SOLSC

slice-of-life_individual

Today, March 19th, 2020, I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.

 

 

Spaniards love festivals and celebrations. Due to the coronavirus crisis many of these very important events have to be postponed or cancel. One of them is Las Fallas festival (or the Festival of Fire) in Valencia. The event is celebrated during the first three weeks of  March with public events all over this autonomous community. In 2016, the festival was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

We never went to Valencia much less to watch las Fallas (it´s in my bucket list) but we always were impressed to see on TV those big pieces of art on a float. People devote more than 6 months to build them and spend thousand of dollars with the hope to win one of the prizes of the best Ninots (the name of these big caricatures), and finally burn them on the day of La Cremà, March 19th.

According to the official tourism website of Valencia, the origin of las Fallas comes from the old carpenter’s tradition who, when celebrating the arrival of spring on 19th March, used to burn pieces of wood (parota) that were used to prop up their lights during the winter.
To this initial fire, people started to add old clothes and belongings to the point that the wooden structure took the shape and aspect of a human. Eventually those structures evolved to become the ninots that we know today. Soon enough the Spanish humor and irony was shown in the ninots. Many of the floats are a satire of real life, politics, religions, pop culture and many other aspects of Spanish life.

Today was the day of la Crema, that many Valencians were preparing with so much hope and care. A rite that didn’t happen. My brother sent me on Instagram a post from Alejandro Martìnez Notte (@martineznotte) telling the story of a five year old girl who was dreaming of this day the entire year. Her parents managed to celebrate la Cremá in confinement. They made a Ninot with what they found at home. They called it Coronavirus, and they burnt it today through the symbolic ritual of finishing with the obsolete, the injustice, of what is worthless, to reborn year after year from ashes. March 19th, 2020 Valencia doesn’t have Fallas. Silence. No Cremà. No music. No laughter. Just hope.

You can see the entire post with some photos and a video here.

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Here are some photos of previous Fallas by David MarkAlejandro Vidal and  chusa8 from Pixabay

 

7 thoughts on “Day 19. Festival of Fire #SOL2020 Challenge #SOLSC

  1. Our work place was going to have a “spring fling” yesterday to throw things into a fire and celebrate a huge transition we’ve been through but we had to cancel it. I love seeing the pictures you posted from La Crema – those figures are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a coincidence! Thanks for commenting.. I was feeling very depressed that nobody has read my post from yesterday hahaha. You made my night. As usual, I haven’t finished my post of today.

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      1. I know it is hard to write every day with no audience but yourself. But keep it up! I started blogging a long time ago and it took a long time to feel confident to just write regardless.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Amelia. I am just a whiner. I love to write and this challenge is forcing me to do it. I am pretty accustom to the solo riding. Probably, I would get overwhelmed if I started receiving too many comments since I like to reply. I guess a couple of comments is always nice, even though there are some slices that I wish nobody reads hahaha.

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      3. you are so funny! When I first started blogging I checked for comments a lot and then I realized it was a bit disconcerting to think about how people might be commenting just because they’re “supposed to” so I started only doing the minimum commenting and trying to really respond to those people who really touched me with something they wrote. So that is why I responded to you. I’m so glad you are in the blogosphere!

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