Papier-mâché monuments in Lancaster

By | Category: Travel destinations
Burning the papier mache figures in Las Fallas

Las Fallas in Valencia- the final night.

In the Spanish city of Valencia there is a festival called Las Fallas. It involves the creation of thousands of papier-mâché figures or monuments that are then ceremoniously burnt. The idea is that this annual event each March is a satirical view of life not just locally in Valencia but in Spain generally and elsewhere in the world.

The figures themselves are almost works of art and their burning draws crowds in their thousands to what has become one of the city’s largest tourist attractions. The festival also includes music, street markets and daily fireworks displays, as well as the colourful Flower Offering to Our Lady of the Forsaken, where more than 100,000 falleros and falleras, boys and girls dressed in traditional costumes, parade through the streets of the city.

Now Las Fallas has come to the UK. A specially designed falla will be erected on Dalton Square in Lancaster on 3rd November and set alight at 7pm on Friday, 4th November.

Why Lancaster? Because it is part of the city’s Light Up Lancaster event which takes place on the 4th and 5th of November.

The event not only marks the fact that the tradition of the Las Fallas festival is being considered as a candidate for UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage but it will act as a tourist boost to the Valencia region as well. You can support the candidature by signing the petition.

This is because, for those attending the event in Lancaster, visitors will be able to enjoy a bit of the culture and gastronomy of Valencia, with music played by a band flown in directly from the city and chefs cooking a giant paella.

For the Lancaster celebrations, “D is for Dinosaur” is the name of the falla designed by Valencian artist Mario Gual del Olmo for Lancaster.  The monument reflects the history of the city, taking its theme from Lancaster-born biologist Sir Richard Owen who coined the word dinosaur for the first time.  He is depicted alongside other famous local figures such as Richard Arkwright, inventor of the spinning wheel.

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