You can smell the gunpowder in the streets of Valencia. You can breathe a festive atmosphere in the air… Why? Because the Fallas are here! The Fallas are not one of the most important festivals of Valencia only, but also at a national level, and they have been declared of international tourist interest.
Valencia wears its best clothes to welcome this deeply rooted tradition: in fact, it already existed in the eighteenth century, when the Valencian people would burn the famous Ninots (critical or burlesque human figure representations made with combustible materials and, which appear in the Fallas monuments and which are burned at the end of The Fallas in the Gran Cremà – except the winner). This festival has its origins from the burning of shavings and other carpentry remains from the workshops that took place on the eve of their patron St. Joseph’s day.
Throughout March, Valencia becomes alive with lights, firecrackers, fireworks, music and fun. The famous mascletás, the beautiful Falleras, the stunning Fallas, … all of these turn the Fallas in an indescribable event! These days the city is full of people from all over the world who do not want to miss this show which is like no other:
To begin the day strongly, Valencia gets up early throughout the festivities with the despertá, where the fallas commissions wake the neighbours up by throwing noisy firecrackers on the floor. If they’re feeling a bit peckish, the people go to the Casal de la Falla where they are given a warm welcome with thick hot chocolate along with porras and buñuelos (a type of deep fried doughnut) which are typical of these local parties.
Every day at two o’clock, the noisy mascletás are held at the Town Hall Square. These firecrackers are so abundant and they last from 5 to 7 minutes causing a sound that reaches 120 decibels. At night, the fireworks illuminate the sky in Valencia.
But one of the main acts is, without a doubt, the Offer to the Mare de Deu, the patroness of Valencia. Throughout two days the Fallas commissions deliver a flower bouquet to the Virgin and with them they make a beautiful and immense coat. Another renowned moment is the selection of the Fallera Mayor, where a fallera queen is chosen to perform as an ambassador of the festival. This event enjoys an enormous popular acceptance.
The nights of March 18th (La Nit del Foc) and March 19th (La Nit de la Cremá) are the most significant ones of the festival. The first one is the most spectacular fireworks display of the Fallas, lasting around 30 minutes and bringing together more than a million people. Here, about 1200 kg of gunpowder are used, incredible! The Cremá Night closes the festival. Here is where all the Fallas monuments are burned, except the winner, which is stored for posterity.
But the Fallas festival is much more than this! Enjoy the best concerts, cultural events, etc. Valencia awaits you to celebrate all of these days together. Check the program for 2010 (http://www.fallasvalencia.es/programa-fallas) and rent the best Apartments in Valencia to get good accommodation.