Last night Valencia said goodbye to one of the most atypical Fallas in its history. The fire consumed the failures, popularly known as the coronavirus, a year and a half later than expected. Some 700 monuments, large and childish, were burned long before other years to comply as much as possible (some were delayed) with the curfew in force. The virus has changed everything. The commissions have organized a party subject to strict sanitary regulations, with a mandatory mask in fallas acts, capacity control, without festivals and with a curfew from one to six in the morning.
In the four holidays, in which hotel occupancy has touched 60%, a contained celebration has been seen in the street, conceived so that the falleros would put an end to the postponed party on two occasions and start a new cycle. The Fallas were suspended for the first time on March 10, 2020, just a few days before the state of alarm was decreed and the population was confined by covid-19, and they caught the organizers with the monuments finished and ready to go. plant in the streets.
The bust of the iconic Meditator, a central figure in the failure of the City Council, was in fact already installed on public roads when they were postponed and had to be burned in an act without public because it was more complicated to dismantle it for storage than to set it on fire, so the head of the yogui, which is the one that burned this Sunday night. Designed by the urban artist Escif and executed by the Fallas artists Manolo Martín and José Ramón Espuig, this falla has become an icon of the Fallas of the pandemic, of resistance to a crisis that has knocked out a festive sector of which thousands of families depend, and the main visual and tourist attraction of the city.
The rest of the monuments were stored in large areas of the capital, waiting to be burned when the coronavirus gave up. The party was postponed again in March of this year because the vaccination objectives were far away and it was decided to move it to the second half of the year. Quite a journey.
This Sunday, when the failures were coming to an end, the mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, was convinced that these acts “will not have a significant reflection on the number of people affected by the pandemic.” And he added: “The fault controls have worked very well, and in the public space, which was a fear that we had, especially on Saturday night, there have been no serious problems. We have seen large bottles but no more than a normal weekend. We are the first big city that organizes its parties in a controlled way ”.
The atypical Fallas – it is the first time in history that they were celebrated in September – say goodbye with a handful of incidents and anecdotes. They got off on the wrong foot when storms wreaked havoc on the night of plant of the monuments on September 1. Some fell to the ground and many suffered damage from the torrential rain and strong gusts of wind, but the party continued.
These Fallas festivals have also left a string of anecdotes, some as controversial as the decision of the Duque de Gaeta-Pobla de Farnals falla to pardon the figures of a mosque and a Muslim crescent from the fire at the request of the Muslim community. In the fallero monument, the work of the artist Vicente Llácer, satire is represented with elements of Muslim culture around the figure of a Moorish captain. As reported by the commission in a statement, after a dialogue between the Fallas and Muslim communities, “the pardon has been resolved,” and the pieces will be handed over to representatives of the Valencian Muslim community.
Other commissions have made use of the improvised thought and done (“Thought and done”, in Valencian) and they have devised a performance with great repercussion in the social networks to criticize the consumer society. In addition to Valencia, this Sunday fallas have been burned in towns such as Gandia, Torrent (with a lesbian kiss from two falleras at the top of a monument that has become famous), Sagunto or Catarroja, which also suffered the torrential storm of this week.