las fallas feature

Photo Essay – Las Fallas Festival 2017 – Valencia, Spain

***

The grand monuments of Las Fallas filled neighborhood squares in Valencia, Spain, to celebrate St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.

An annual tradition dating to 1700 to welcome the spring equinox, Las Fallas welcomes thousands of Casal faller (the Valencian locals) who proceed through the streets in brightly colored traditional dress to offer red and white flower bouquets to the Virgin Mary statue at the festival’s end.

This year, the streets were overflowing with those cooking paella, lighting firecrackers, and viewing the Cavalcada del Foc (the Fire Parade) as La Cremá (the fire-setting) neared. 

At the stroke of midnight Valencia was aglow, lit by pyrotechnic painted skies of 100 fallas (monuments) ignited at once to the glee of onlookers, sculptors, painters and designers, who danced and pranced as fire engulfed the satirical comments of this year’s past as thoughts of next year’s Las Fallas loom.

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival2622.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate the Falles Festival on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla Convento Jerusalen

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival2646.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate the Falles Festival on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla Convento Jerusalen

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival2702.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate the Falles Festival on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla Convento Jerusalen

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival2958.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate the Falles Festival on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. L'Ofrena de flors, Casals fallers handing the flower offering to the virgin.

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival3134.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate the Falles Festival on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla infantil

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival3538.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla Plaza del Pilar

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival3663.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla Plaza del La Merced

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival4010.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla Almirante Cadarso Conde De Altea

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival3736.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival4181.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla Bolseria Tros-Alt club members cooking paella in the ally on St Josephs Day.

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival4447.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas. Falla Bolseria Tros-Alt club members cooking paella in the ally on St Josephs Day.

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival3491.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate in Valencia, Spain on the last day of Fallas. Cotton candy at a confection booth.

***

20170319©DAYFallasParade4613.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate L'Ofrena de flors, The Fire Parade, on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spain on the last day of Fallas.

***

20170319©DAYFallasParade4045.jpg Thousands celebrate L'Ofrena de flors, The Fire Parade in Valencia, Spain during the Fallas Festival.

***

20170319©DAYFallasParade5077.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate The Fire Parade on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spian on the last day of Fallas.

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival4178.jpg Thousands celebrate the Fire Parade in Valencia,Spain during the Fallas Festival on St. Josephs Day

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival5201.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spain on the last day of Fallas. Falla Grabador Esteve-Cirilo Amoros

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival5232.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spain on the last day of Fallas. Falla Grabador Esteve-Cirilo Amoros starts to burn at the stroke of midnight.

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival5256.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spain on the last day of Fallas. Falla Grabador Esteve-Cirilo Amoros starts to burn at the stroke of midnight.

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival5668.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spain on the last day of Fallas. Falla starts to burn at the stroke of midnight.

***

20170319©DAYFallasFestival5778.jpg Thousands of performers and spectators celebrate on St. Joseph's Day in Valencia Spain on the last day of Fallas. Falla starts to burn at the stroke of midnight.

***

Jeff Day, an independent photographer based in New York City, documents city life celebrations and the renewal of historical tradition in contemporary voice in the streets. He is completing two books, New Orleans Black and White and New York Street.  A lifelong sailor, Jeff has also documented the water’s edge and shore towns of New York, New England, the Gulf Coast, and Eastern Spain.

***

To see more of Jeff’s work, click here.

***

All copyrighted photos courtesy of Jeff Day.