What is Fallas?
Welcome to the world of Fallas! Fallas Festival is one of the most unique festivals celebrated in Spain. Happening from March 14 to 19 in Valencia, the city is filled with tall colorful statues (ninots), people dancing on the streets to the beat of the drum, traditional foods and an abundance of fun! It is a celebration of the end of winter and the start of spring. These stunning ninots are made over many months and will be set on fire in an annual ritual called La Cremá at the end of the four days. It’s a beautiful way to welcome the new season with some heat!
How did this celebration start?
First of all, it’s important to know how burning beautiful statues in the street started. The festival got its name from Falla which in Medieval Valencian translates to “torch”. Back then, Falla were only torches to illuminate the city for protection. Now it’s a symbol of the major party that Las Fallas is today.
Though the origins of the Las Fallas de Valencia are uncertain, the most well-known theory dates back to centuries ago. In celebration of the coming of spring, carpenters would burn traditional lamps used to light up workshops in the darkness of winter that were no longer needed. These lamps were called “parots.” The creative and cheeky Valencian craftsmen would also dress up their parots as customers that have given them trouble in the past, and later on, it became a tradition to find the most inventive parot. As the years went by, people became more creative and the annual tradition lives on to this day.
Valencia celebrates this festival in 4 jam packed days. The streets are filled with transcendent energy – with larger-than-life figures parading the city and people dancing on the streets to the sound of music.
What’s on the itinerary?
We want to give you the full schedule here because there is so much on the itinerary.
As you can see, Las Fallas officially kicks off Sunday, February 26th but the most important in our opinion are March 15th to the 19th. During these days there are special events called The Mascleta, Nit de Foc, La Planta, and La Crema. To enjoy the full experience of Las Fallas we recommend attending all of these events, but if you can’t we have a description for each day below.
First, is La Plantá which kicks off the weekend in Valencia. Most noteworthy are the ninots (sculptures) which leave the workshop and see the light of day. Certainly this is such a special event to attend because the people of Valencia have waited to see the sculptures that the artists have worked so hard on all year. It is a tribute to their work and effort and is celebrated late into the night. This day is good for viewing and contemplating all the sculptures before the judges decide which sculpture is the winner.
Another important thing to note that Valencia is the city of firecrackers! Hence, if you are not a fan of loud noises and fireworks this might not be the day you want to visit. La Mascletá is a pyrotechnic show where the city will be filled with smoke, noise, and color. Even more people will show up to see the festivities that will be held in Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Above all, this spectacle is a fan-favorite among Valencians, but only lasts about ten minutes. Once it’s over you can explore the city and enjoy all the beautiful sites.
Finally is the event to end Las Fallas which falls on the holiday of San José. After the four long days of celebration, Valencia returns back to it’s original state with La Cremá. During La Cremá you will see all the beautiful statues that were created over an entire year burned…yes lit on fire. It is an interesting but beautiful contrast of colors and fire. This isn’t the most cheerful of nights since it is the end of the weekend festivities and everyone has to work the next day. With the ending of these sculptures marks the beginning of a new year creating for 2020.
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