LAS FALLAS

=法雅
VALENCIA

Con la llegada del mes de Marzo las celebraciones se empiezan a suceder por lo largo y ancho del mundo entero, algunas empiezan antes, pero a partir de Marzo empiezan las celebraciones más emblemáticas… especialmente en España. El mismo mes de Marzo tiene lugar el equinocio de privamera, cuando decimos adiós al crudo invierno para recibir a las flores, el sol y el buen clima y temperatura y para celebrarlo en Valencia se celebran las fiestas mayores.Valencia es una de las principales ciudades españolas y cuenta con una importante cultura y tradición entre sus habitantes, pero no sólo la ciudad de Valencia si no toda la província entera que celebra con júbilo las Fallas. Las fallas son una celebración pagana en la que mediante la quema de los ninots se celebra y purifica el cambio de estación. Las Fallas son una fiesta de interés turístico internacional en el que las comisiones o grupos falleros contruyen sus monumentos de cartón-piedra de medidas y acabados espectaculares para proceder, la noche del 19 de Marzo, a la quema masiva de los mismos en el acto denominado “la cremà“. Cada monumento puede costar varios cientos de miles de euros y, el más caro contruído y quemado, de la história llegó a alcanzar los 600.000 euros (100 millones de las antiguas pesetas), por lo que los turistas que visitan Valencia no llegan a alcanzar el sentido de quemar tanto dinero, incluso en tiempos de crisis.

FALLAS

The Spanish have a thing for mixing raging parties with patron saints, and Las Fallas comes with the added touch of fire in this celebration of all things pyro. The fiery event has taken place since the city’s pagan days and incorporates a myriad of traditions. One relates to San José – the Saint of Carpenters – who is celebrated on the spring equinox. The local carpenters used the occasion to burn their wooden winter candleholders, called candelabra. That tradition morphed into a good excuse to set stuff on fire. The festival is also a week of puppets as Valencia fills with several hundred strange, intricate and otherwise weird fallas propped up around the city. The wood and papier-mâché effigies are generally critical or humorous portrayals of events and figures. Some are so big they take months to construct, with locals competing with their neighbours in effigy-making matches.

POTLATCH

Gretchen at the Potlatch Feast

“Potlatch is a festive event within a regional exchange system among tribes of the North pacific Coast of North America, including the Salish and Kwakiutl of Washington and British Columbia.”
The potlatch takes the form of governance, economy, social status and continuing spiritual practices. A potlatch, usually involving ceremony, includes celebration of births, rites of passages, weddings, funerals, puberty,and honoring of the deceased. Through political, economic and social exchange, it is a vital part of these Indigenous people’s culture. Although protocol differs among the Indigenous nations, the potlatch could involve a feast, with music, dance, theatricality and spiritual ceremonies. The most sacred ceremonies are usually observed in the winter.
Within it, hierarchical relations within and between clans, villages, and nations, are observed and reinforced through the distribution of wealth, dance performances, and other ceremonies. Status of families are raised by those who do not have the most resources, but distribute the resources. The host demonstrates their wealth and prominence through giving away the resources gathered for the event, which in turn prominent participants reciprocate when they hold their own potlatches.
Before the arrival of the Europeans, gifts included storable food (oolichan [candle fish] oil or dried food), canoes, and slaves among the very wealthy, but otherwise not income-generating assets such as resource rights. The influx of manufactured trade goods such as blankets and sheet copper into the Pacific Northwest caused inflation in the potlatch in the late eighteenth and earlier nineteenth centuries. Some groups, such as the Kwakwaka’wakw, used the potlatch as an arena in which highly competitive contests of status took place. In rare cases, goods were actually destroyed after being received. The catastrophic mortalities due to introduced diseases laid many inherited ranks vacant or open to remote or dubious claim—providing they could be validated—with a suitable potlatch.
Sponsors of a potlatch give away many useful items such as food, blankets, worked ornamental mediums of exchange called “coppers”, and many other various items. In return, they earned prestige. To give a potlatch enhanced one’s reputation and validated social rank, the rank and requisite potlatch being proportional, both for the host and for the recipients by the gifts exchanged. Prestige increased with the lavishness of the potlatch, the value of the goods given away in it.