Spain Has Been Hosting a Massive Fire Festival for 300 Years

Article by: emily ward|@_drawylime

Thu March 15, 2018 | 12:30 PM

Spring has sprung, which mean more sunlight, longer days, and nature's chance to come out of hiding and flourish. In Valencia, Spain, the start of Spring looks a little different. The season kicks off with Las Fallasa celebration dating back to the Middle Ages when excess winter supplies were turned into art and torched, in an equivalent to "spring cleaning." This week, the event celebrates its 300th year full of art installations, raucous parades, costumes and dazzling pyrotechnic displays. 

When Christian Almenar, a Burner from Spain, attended Burning Man after moving to America, he was struck at how similar the event was to Las Fallas, the 300-year-old festival in his hometown of Valencia, Spain. Almenar recounts how he ran into Burning Man Project's Larry Harvey and Stuart Mangrum, and asked the Burning Man founders if they knew about Las Fallas Mangrum says, "I've been going to Burning Man for over twenty years, thinking that Black Rock City was the most unique place in the world, that there was nothing like it anywhere, until I visited Valencia for Las Fallas." Both Mangrum and Almenar recall their awe at discovering that their beloved festivals had international counterparts.

Watch in the video above as Burning Man invites Valencian artists to check out Black Rock City, and to see where cultural collaboration could be possible in the future. The two artistic communities team up, and three prominent Burning Man artists head to Valencia to see what unfolds.