2 Jul 2009

Visiting Hogueras: La Florida Portazgo

So this year's Grand Prize Winner in the Categoría Especial is a repeat offender, they took the cake last year as well (and it's only their 4th year in this category)! Designed by Vicente Martínez Aparici, with a budget of 130 000€, the chosen theme was "Què faries si anara a acabar-se el món?" (What would you do if the world were to end?).

The monument is composed of various allegories representing the end of the world, through symbols such as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the president of the Categoría Especial Jury particularly admired the "composition" and the concentration of figures "in perfect equilibrium" within this Hoguera, which defines the "essence of the fiesta". Personally I think what also helped this Hoguera (as opposed to my favourites Calvo Sotelo and Hernán Cortés) was that it follows a purer Alicante style of a dominance geometric shapes and lines (as opposed to the curvier figures in Hernán Cortés, reminiscent of the Fallas in Valencia). For a look at the people's reactions on hearing the good news, check out the pictures in this blog (I think it's by a local reporter).

First a couple of amusing scenes, such as a critique against popular "diets":

One thing I enjoyed about this Hoguera is that the notes that accompany each figure (present in all hogueras) were trilingual! So I don't need to do any translating! ;o)

How about this one?

How many of us have dreamt of doing this? Please let me know when the end of the world is nigh so I don't miss my chance! :p

Of course, when we think Biblically, "End of the World" brings one word to mind: Apocalypse! And as it says in the Bible (thx Wikipedia for the quotes!):
"And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword."

"And I beheld, and lo a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow: and there was given unto him a crown, and he departed as conqueror and to conquest."

"And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand."

"And I beheld, and lo a pale horse; and he that sat on him was called Death, and Hades followed with him."

So where does this lead us if we can't make the cut for...




  1. With every post, I'm more and more drawn to your experience! I want to see it for myself! It seems like there is not enough time to see, read and soak in everything that is there...

  2. Cris, I so enjoy these postings and your photo essay of this event is off the chain! Thank you so much for taking all the time to bring this experience to us. I love the ones for the kids, especially the one with the mermaids.

    BTW, I am looking forward to the Royal Cabana posting, that is the nicest thing!

    Also, I checked out the posting you mentioned in your comment about the similar flowers and you're right, they do look so much alike it's amazing. The leaf structures are very different, so they must be from the same family, but different genus. Interesting, don't you think?

  3. Lily, you're right, there isn't enough time to live through it all unless you're prepared to go through a very intense week with little sleep and lots of moving around town! Last year was the first year I experienced most of the nocturnal events thanks to having friends visiting, but didn't see much of the daytime stuff 'cause the same friends wanted beach time (when we were awake). This year since all my friends were busy with work and the holiday was mostly in the week, my partying was greatly reduced and so I could take full advantage of the days (as much as my students allowed me). But I still missed out on a lot!!!

    Indeed Rhonda! Do you think you could ask someone around there what species they are? My Botany is a bit rusty (in fact it was never my best subject), but I've always been amazed by the similarities between Flora in far off regions! My first summer after college we went up to the Canadian Rockies and I remember going crazy over the wildflowers, particularly some kind of thistle that was very similar to a plant we have here! Go figure!


Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)