Regarded as the highly praised international festival, Las Fallas or Fallas de Valencia is a culturally wild celebration for welcoming the season of spring in Valencia. Imagine a blend of a part of medieval history, modern Mediterranean savor, and some fun and frolic through fireworks, flambé, and effigies of wax and wood. This is what Las Fallas de Valencia is!
Once a year, Spain’s Valencia becomes a thriving stage for countless giant dolls of politicians and movie stars, bonfires, parades, and pyrotechnic performances. Monumental, yet transient statues are meticulously built since a few months in advance, just to get engulfed by fire in an exclusive spectacle that spreads flames all around.
History of Fallas de Valencia
The festival first started by the medieval guilds, particularly the wood workers who gathered spare wood pieces and junks, and put them into a big bonfire on the St. Joseph (patron saint) feast day. With the heating inter-guild competition and flaring fervors, bonfires turned into bizarre fallas or effigies of rivals.
Major Attractions of Fallas de Valencia
The city of Valencia is filled with huge cardboard monuments that are referred to as ninots. They are prepared for a competition that characterizes art, originality, creativity, and good taste. The origin of this competition dates back when carpenter’s parot, wooden lamps, were used to radiate their winter workshops that were finally burned in the street before the day of San José feast.
Although the most striking performances start after mid March, the city becomes busy in establishing the cheerful ambiance right from the first day of the month, with the mascletás. These are strident fireworks happening daily in Town Hall Square at around 2 p.m.
On the night of 15th, the traditional and cultural plantà of the fallas strikes. This is the time when people remain awake all night to prepare over 700 statues in the squares and streets. Some of these statues even soar up to 20 metres, although 10 metres is a standard. The next day morning completely transforms the busy preparing streets into a stage inhabited by caricatures and ironic presentations to criticize famous people and events such as movie idols, politicians, and relevant events with lots of humor.
The visitors enjoy such effigies, their parades, competitions, bullfights, and other activities until the last day of the festival, when most stunning but dangerous scene of the Cremà at night is the major attraction featuring a unique spectacle of fireworks, music, and light. Herein, all ninots are burned, except for the one that receives a popular vote to be preserved at the Fallero Museum. During the Crema, the smaller effigies are burned at 10pm, whereas the larger ones burn near midnight. Tied with pyrotechnics, the big sculptures are put into fire at a high temperature due to which the crowds are asked to observe from far behind the safety fences.
One more fascinating attraction is the floral offering to Mother Mary. When the effigies parade in between the first and last day of celebrations in honor of the Virgin, a beautiful 14-m high mountain of flowers is created.
In short, Valencia erupts into a wild party floor in mid March.
2015 Dates: Mar 14, 2015 to Mar 19, 2015