Roll the fire

The faults

The inclusion of UNESCO of the Falles del Pirineu in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2015 meant, above all, a recognition of the fallaires who over the years have perpetuated this tradition.

Because beyond the emotional attitudes generated by any traditional festival, the history of the Falles in Andorra since they returned to public space in 1987 has been a story of survival and vindication. With UNESCO there is a before and an after, because groups and institutions take on responsibilities and commitments based on the preservation and dissemination of the festival, which at the same time happens to have considerable dimensions.

Originally, the falla was a long and thin boxwood trunk where beech bark peels were threaded, which the young people of each region, the fallaires, rolled in flames around the bonfire in summer solstice. They could also take her down from the nearby mountains to a bonfire in the middle of the village. Once ignited, the faults are shaken and rolled dizzyingly to the extent that they generate large wheels of fire of a plasticity and an almost hypnotic appeal.

The fallaires

Sant Julià de Lòria, completes the quintet of cities where today you can see the burning of falles.

The five Falles groups constitute the Taula Nacional de les Falles de les Valls d'Andorra (andorran falles council), which oversees the coordination of joint activities and becomes an interlocutor with the competent ministry. The constitution of the Taula has not meant that the falles groups of each parish have lost their idiosyncrasy - each group continues to maintain its organizational structure - nor that a process of homogenization of the festival; on the contrary, everyone has continued to burn falles with their particularities, whether in clothing, route or mode of burning the falla. The Fallaires lauredians differ in rolling double falles and going dressed in red. As in Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany, to start the little ones, the light falles have been added, which are balls that also turn around and change colour with which children begin to practice the celebration and enjoy it.

But there are some activities and some elements of the falles that have been shared. This is the case of the traditional falles workshop made of beech bark and that of the captain fallaire, which regained its conception as a national when the figure was created in 1997 and each parish gave up having its own captain fallaire.