Next week, the failures of the pandemic are finally celebrated, which were pending due to the declaration of the state of alarm in March 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. These emblematic festivals could not be celebrated last March, when they were postponed for the second time. Finally, and thanks to the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the Valencian Community, just ten days ago, the Department of Universal Health and Public Health confirmed with representatives of the Fallas collective the celebration of the most representative acts, although conditioned by the restrictions set by the Valencian Government, such as the curfew or the reduction of capacity.
Obviously, Valencia is the fallero benchmark par excellence. However, not only the capital will plant its monuments in early September. Another seventeen localities have confirmed the celebration of their Fallas festivities on those same dates, while other municipalities will do so on other days of the same month or, even, in October, taking advantage of the festivities of 9 (Valencian Community day) and 12 (Hispanity). In total, there are 36 localities that plan to celebrate the Fallas in the coming weeks, while others have decided to permanently suspend them and leave them for March 2021.
Among those that will celebrate their Fallas (with the traditional acts of the offering, the ‘cremà’, the parades …) is the Federation Junta Fallera de Sagunt, which has about thirty commissions that also include two in the neighboring towns of Faura and Gilet. As recognized by the president of the federation, Jaime Gil: “finally we are going to celebrate the Fallas, even if it is an atypical celebration.” It is, he points out, some acts -from August 31 to September 5- that still correspond to 2020 and will serve to “close a cycle”: “It will be a highly conditioned celebration, more cultural than playful.”
The decision was made at the meeting of presidents and the vote was by no means unanimous and obliges all the commissions, although there is one that has decided not to plant a monument (El Remei), “a very small commission.” This fact can entail a sanction, since the regulation forces all the failures to plant: “They have assumed that possible punishment, which should be decided by a commission.”
The 29 commissions of Torrent will also remove their monuments between September 1 and 5 and will carry out their acts, as in the case of Sagunt and the rest of the towns that celebrate the festival, “in a safe and responsible manner”. Thus, they maintain that they will not be common failures, but that those official or “patrimonial” acts – those essential – will be held to close the current fallero cycle, renouncing the “more festive and playful” part. “Possibly they will not be the Fallas that they would have dreamed of having” the major falleras, they acknowledged from the board in a statement.
In the case of Gandia, another of the most numerous local councils, with more than twenty failures, also celebrate the party between September 1 and 5: “We will enjoy the failures that COVID-19 took away from us.” “They will not be the Fallas that we all know, but with them we will close a year to be able to resurface and start again with more force,” they point out from the Gandia Falles Federation.
Alzira, the largest local board outside the capital with 35 commissions, planned to carry out more atypical Fallas between September 2 and 5, if possible than in other locations. The capital of the Valencian region of La Ribera initially contemplated that only nine of its more than thirty monuments would be planted. However, in August it was agreed to postpone the celebration to October (from 9 to 12) and instead of planting nine fallas, finally there will be only six: the three of Special category, one of First and two of Third: (El Mercat, Plaça Major, Camí Nou, Hernán Cortés, Painter T. Andreu and Sant Andreu). “‘Planting’ and ‘cremar’ was not an option for the commissions,” they maintain from the local board, and they add: “We must work to be able to carry out the Fallas in the most dignified way possible, always with the consent of the authorities and with security as the first premise; opening the door to all commissions that want to celebrate the failures in October “.
Burriana also decided last May that it will plant its monuments from October 8 to 12 after analyzing all the possibilities. As the councilor and president of the Fallera Local Board, Sara Molina, explained at the time, the majority of the group considered the celebration of certain activities that they considered “essential for a dignified celebration” to be “inalienable”. In the city, it was ruled out to carry out the Fallas at the beginning of September so as not to make them coincide with the patron saint festivities.
The Fallas will also take place in September, although on other dates (from 8 to 12), in cities such as Paterna, while in towns with a great tradition, such as Xàtiva, Dénia or Cullera, the decision was to postpone them definitively until the next month of March. As in Burriana, in October there will also be Fallas in places like Benicarló or Almussafes.