In stead of talking only about environmental issues and how people in Spain treat them, in this blog post I have decided to demonstrate the relationship between this topic and the one about festivals and celebrations discussed previously.
As I mentioned before, one of the biggest and most spectacular festivals in Spain is called Las Fallas. Since it is typical of the region of Valencia, I had the opportunity to see every part of it, from the preparations to the night where all the statues were burnt. It goes on for five days (15th-19th March each year) and in that period the streets of Valencia fill with music, all kinds of performers, people dressed in beautiful traditional costumes, lights and amazing colours. At nighttime there were fireworks (the best I had ever seen) as well as “moving discos” all around the city. As you can imagine all the people stayed outside until way past midnight, both children and adults, enjoying themselves.
The atmosphere during Las Fallas is hard to describe in words and I would encourage anyone who visits Spain to experience it. However, I do have some photos of pretty little Falleras and the statues which are the symbol of the festival. It takes a lot of money and effort to create them, so it is a pity that they are all burnt (except one) on the last night of celebrations:
There are two main reasons I started writing about Las Fallas: first, I believe it is something truly unique as a way of celebration and I would like to make more people aware of it and second, it poses a real challenge to the people of Valencia from an ecological point of view. The problem is people from all parts of the world come to see this festival and the city gets unbelievably crowded and dirty. As you are walking back home after a night out, you see beer/Coca-Cola cans and all kinds of rubbish on the street. However, before the sun comes up, everything is cleaned up and the city is ready to meet the new day. This might not seem so surprising to a British person, but in my country you will never see such a great and effective mobilization of cleaning teams and machines (the city would simply be left dirty for days or even weeks…).