Today we walked more than 8 miles. Our day began with a visit to Museu Fallera de Valencia. We wanted to visit the historical ninots.
So you may ask, “What is a ninot?” Well, a ninot (from the Valencian language “doll”) is a figure with human representation. We have seen ninots that are relatively small to ones that are life size. Like the “monuments” or “fallas” they were once part of, they are made of combustible materials (cardboard, wood, paper, fabrics, or wax to papier-mâché and expanded polystyrene today) and are set ablaze on the last day of Las Fallas.
However, the ninots in the Museu Fallera are special in that by popular (the people) or personal (the Fallas committee) election they were saved from the flames of fire having received the award of “Ninot Indultat” or “Ninot Pardoned”.
The oldest ninots we found in the museum were from 1929. It is a wonderful collection and we spent an enjoyable couple of hours in the museum taking dozens more photos.
If you want to learn more about ninots and Los Falles, we found this interesting site:
After the museum we then spent hours hunting fallas out on the streets. A bit confusing perhaps, the fallas refers to both the celebration and the monuments burnt during the celebration and falla (referred herein as monument) is the name given to each gigantic sculpture. We initially thought it might be difficult to find them. Lol. Not so, it seemed nearly every ‘placa’ or street corner in the ‘old town’ area in Valencia had a monument. Ranging in size from small 6’ – 10’ tall to the gigantic ‘especial’ fallas which can be 70+ feet tall and nearly as round. Regardless of size, they are amazing and amusing. Truly spectacular to see in person.
Whew! After wandering the city, we were two tired travelers by the time we arrived home.
We have to admit that we have really struggled with a lot of the terms used to describe the pieces and parts that make up the core of the celebration which is “Las Fallas”. Here are a few definitions.
- Fallero – of or relating to the “Fallas”
- Falla – a figure that is made for festival (also referred to as a monument)
- Fallas – both the celebration and the monuments burned during the festival
(click on any picture to go to slideshow view)
Salud from these valencianos,
Ted & Julia