Las Fallas of Valencia declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO

The Intergovernmental Convention of UNESCO met in the week of 30th November 2016 in Ethiopia and confirmed the inclusion of this festival in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage on 30th November 2016.

The Fallas of Valencia have been already declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage as confirmed on 30th November 2016 at the Intergovernmental Convention by UNESCO. The title represents an unprecedented recognition of Valencia´s biggest festival and will serve as a measure to boost tourism into the city and economy of all sectors in which Valencia is involved. It also recognizes that the Fallas are a unique tradition, a festival that involves thousands of Valencians and represents a source of collective creativity that maintains traditional Valencian practices over time. The aesthetic values of the festival and its rituals have been inherited from generation to generation which reassure the fact that Fallas belongs to all the territories of the world joining two other good factors of the city of Valencia, La Lonja de la Seda (The Silk Exchange) and Tribunal de las Aguas (Water Court) which have been recognized by UNESCO in 1996 and 2009 respectively.

For a few days in March, Las Fallas convert the city of Valencia into an ephemeral art museum to celebrate the arrival of spring. Satire, irony and humor from economic, social and political world are brought together to make us laugh out loud. The famous ´ninots´ are disproportionately sized dolls that can form into monuments of more than 20 meters height and of approximately 60 meters in diameter. These assemblies of art work receive the name of ¨falla¨ that are then set up in the city, and more than 400 big fallas and another 400 child-like fallas are then reduced to ashes on 19th March under purifying fire.

But the party goes further with 19 official ‘mascletàs’ (fireworks) and a few others from the fallas committees with more than 1,00,000 falleros parading with traditional clothing in the Offering to the Virgin of Our Forsaken with music of more than 400 bands with open air dance, concerts and tons of gunpowder fired in castles of fireworks.

The origin of the Fallas goes back to the old tradition of the carpenters of Valencia, on the eve of the feast of their patron Saint Joseph burned old and useless junk together with the pieces of wood that they used to raise the lamps that illuminated them while they worked in the months of winter in front of their workshops, in the streets and public squares. Thus, during the eighteenth century, small structures of combustible materials were burned which received the name of Fallas and that were burned on the eve of San José (Saint Joseph). Over time, these figures were evolving and acquiring a critical, ironic and humorous component.

Las Fallas in 2017 is taking place in the city of Valencia from 15th to 17th March 2017. Come and take part in this extraordinary bonfire street festival and soak into the beautiful city of Valencia!!!

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