A few years back, I spent a while living near Valencia, Spain. And of my time in Spain, I have about 3.256 billion (in case you haven’t heard, I have a rather erratic concept of mathematics) vivid memories, including but not limited to, garbage bags full of las naranjas (We (I) were wannabe thieves…and then we (I) found out we were allowed to take as many naranjas as we wanted. Such a waste of a ski mask and war paint.), going on long runs through the countryside, lots and lots (and LOTS) of paella, Flamenco, siestas (of course), and the festivals.
On note of the festivals, I’ve officially unofficially decided that Spain is the place festivals come to die (I mean that in the best of ways). The Spaniards have a festival for everything…and I love it! (Although, Spain, I would like to note that you always seemed to miss the hint of the July 17 Festival. I guess shouting, “My birthday should be a holiday!” and throwing naranjas into the air wasn’t quite enough of a clue?)
Of the million and one Spanish festivals, perhaps my favorite thus far is Las Fallas–a time when it is apparently completely within societal norm to build giant paper mache displays (fallas) of weird things like Pharaoh and his minions peeing all over the place, have a bunch of people walk around and “ooh and aah” at your fallas, and then set them all on fire and cheer as they burn. Oh, and to shoot fire at people like it’s water. Yeah, that’s completely safe.
But why mumble on about peeing Pharaohs and completely (un)safe fire throwing when I can simply show you? So my friends, enjoy a look at Las Fallas “through the lens.” (Which doesn’t nearly do the experience justice, so I still highly recommend you schedule some time in your calendar to get burned next Spring, err, I mean go to Las Fallas.)
…And they do a lot of other crazy things. (If you’re curious, there are more pictures on Flickr.) And it’s fabulous. And I wouldn’t trade in the experience for anything in the world. Not even a million bucks (although if we’re talking 2 million, then we might be able to work something out.).
**Just FYI, despite fire shooters, devil/dragons, etc., Las Fallas is a very safe festival. You (probably) won’t get burned.