Las Fallas in Valencia
Las Fallas is one of the most important celebrations in Spain. Held in commemoration of Saint Joseph in the city of Valencia, La Falls doubles the city population for almost one entire week.
The term Fallas is related to both the “fiesta” and the burning of the monuments built for this special celebration. Recently, in the 30st of November 2016, the Fallas Festival was added to UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
During Las Fallas, each valencian neighbourhood has a Casal Faller or Comissió Fallera, an orgnized group of people committed to holding fundraising parties and dinners, usually featuring the famous valencian paella, and to the construction of Falla which, during the Nit De Foc, is eventually burnt. Every year, during the for days leading to the 19th of March, each group takes its Ninots out on the street for a grand parade.
All Ninots are built according to a specific theme that has traditionally been a satirical jab at whatever draws the attention of the fallers.
Events during Las Fallas
The five days and night of Las Fallas can be considered a neverending street party. During the day there are a lot of historical and religious processions as well as comedic. Firecracker can be heard all day long and even during the night.
Everyone, from kids to adults, can be seend throwing fireworks and noisemakers in the streets. However, incidents are almost inexistent.
A day in Fallas begins at 8:00 in the morning with La Despertà, sort of a wake up call. Brass bands take over the streets and march playing traditional music while the fallers are throwing large firecrackers in the street as they go.
Each day at 2:00pm, a massive explosive barrage of coordinated firecracker and fireworks displays takes place in the city center just in front of the City Hall. When the clock chimes, the Fallera Major, dressed in her fallera finery, calls from the City Hall balcony: Senyor pirotècnic, pot començar la mascletà!
The 15th is the day when all the Falles Infantils when all the Fallas Majors are to be completed, otherwhise the groups face disqualification.
L’Ofrena de flors
During the day of 17 and 18 of Mrch takes place a very important event when every casal faller takes an offering of flowers to the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Forsaken. The statue of Virgin Mary and its large pedestal are coverd with flowers.
Cavalcada del Foc
The parade known as Cavalcada del Foc (The Fire Parade) takes place at 7:00 pm on the last day of Fallas, the 19th of March.
This spectacular celebration of fire, the symbol of the fiesta’s spirit, is the grand finale of Falles and a colourful, noisy event featuring exhibitions of the varied rites and displays from around the world which use fire.
It incorporates floats, giant mechanisms, people in costumes, rockets, gunpowder, street performances and music.
The final night of Las Fallas is the night when all the falles are burnt as huge bonfires, the climax of the whole event. raditionally, the falla in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament is burned last.
While the smaller fallas dotted around the streets are burned at approximately the same time, the last falla to be burned is the main one, which is saved until last so that everybody can watch it.
This main falla is found outside the Ajuntament – the town hall. People arrive a few hours before the scheduled burning time to get a front row view.