Andorra's falles and fallaires

ANDORRA'SFALLES AND FALLAIRES

The Falles, the summer solstice fire festivals,  are celebrated in several regions of the Pyrenees. In November 2015, they were included on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The association was created in 2013 and its mission is to teach, spread and preserve the tradition of burning the falles on Midsummer's Eve in Andorra la Vella.

Originally, a falla was a long trunk that the young people from the surroundings, known as fallaires, brought down from the mountains to burn in a bonfire in the middle of town. Associació Fallaires Andorra la Vella has recovered the traditional "wheels of fire", where the falles are spun around quickly when lit to create balls of fire,  making for a visually stunning effect.

In Andorra la Vella, fallaires gather in the Old Quarter. To initiate the little ones, falles of light rather than fire have been created, which are balls that are also spun around, allowing kids to participate and enjoy the festival safely.

The festival is celebrated every 23 June, on Midsummer's Eve. Apart from Andorra la Vella's fallaires, the falles are also present in Encamp and Sant Julià, where several groups participate in events organised by each of the parish to celebrate the festivity. The celebration of the Falles festival ends with the lighting of the traditional bonfire, which is done using the falles.

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