Spanish fiesta is flaming hot stuff

HOT STUFF . . . the ninot effigy which will be burned at the festival of fire.
HOT STUFF . . . the ninot effigy which will be burned at the festival of fire.

PUPILS at Bellshill’s Cardinal Newman High School will be fired up later this month for a spectacular tribute to a popular Spanish festival of fire, Las Fallas de Valencia, after studying the topic in their Spanish classes.

The fiesta will take place on Friday, March 22, beginning with a procession led by the Alloa & Bowmar Pipe Band as third year standard bearers parade along the school’s social area to give the whole school the opportunity to witness the fiesta.

Following the pipe band will be Father Colin Hughes of Holy Trinity & All Saints Church, Coatbridge, a Spanish paso designed and made by teacher Aemon McIlvaney and third year craft and design pupils with the school statue of Our Lady borne aloft by third year boys acting as costaleros and followed by six third year girls dressed as falleras.

Sandra Dolan, principal teacher of modern languages, said: “The main attraction of the fiesta is the ninot, a huge effigy made of papier-mâché and wood to be burned on the fallas bonfire, which has been created by Roz Ucbas of the school’s art department and will make its appearance at the end of the procession.

“The procession will then reconvene and will be joined by all 135 third year Spanish pupils before making its its way to the site of the bonfire in the school grounds.

“Father Hughes will say a prayer in Spanish in honour of Our Lady of the Forsaken, the falleras will present posies of carnations to Our Lady and the ninot will be burned on the bonfire while the Alloa & Bowmar Pipe Band plays along.

“This is a new and exciting venture for the staff and pupils of Cardinal Newman High School and promises to increase the enthusiasm and motivation for Spanish already evident in the school.”