- Location: At the mouth of Turia river on the coast with the Gulf of Valencia in east Spain
- Attraction Type: Festival
- Significance: A vibrant and colorful display of local Valencia tradition and culture; truly unbelievable fireworks
- Best Time to Visit: 15th to 19th March
- Visiting Hours: Midday to Midnight
- How to Reach: Reach Valencia by train from Madrid, Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Port Bou, or Sevilla; alternatively take a direct flight to Valencia from London, Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, Geneva, Bucharest, New York, Berlin, Oslo, Casablanca, Prague, Brussels, and Zurich
- Nearest International Airport: Valencia Airport in Manises
Las Fallas de Valencia is a springtime festival held in March in Spain. Las Fallas de Valencia in Spain is a festival of revelry, a festival of colors, and a festival of boundless joy. The streets of Valencia bustle with life with carnivals, parades, men, and women dressed in traditional fineries, merry music, and breathtaking fireworks. You witness the craziest things through four days and four nights on the streets of Valencia.
Spain festival of Las Fallas de Valencia is meant as a tribute to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters’ guild. Fallas in Spain represent communities, sculptures, and festivals. There perhaps is not a more appropriate word than ‘fallas’ to describe this festival in Spain held between 15th and 19th March every year. The ‘fallas’ or communities display their traditions and customs in this carnival. They make ‘fallas’ or wood and paper plaster dolls depicting true-life characters and taken out in processions. These dolls depicting a particular theme in satire are made in the course of a year and are ultimately burnt.
The importance of this Las Fallas is more on the association of the different ‘fallero’ or members of the communities who put up in tents during the festival days. It is an occasion of the different Valencia communities coming together and socializing. For people outside the Valencia community, it is a huge party round the clock for four continuous days. In essence, the Fallas festival is about keeping the traditions of Valencia alive in through a magnanimous celebration.
Las Fallas — The Event
Las Fallas de Valencia commences with ‘Mascletas’, a display of firecrackers in the afternoon on all days beginning on 1st March. The Mascletas is not just a haphazard sound of firecrackers but a careful well-planned explosion of firecrackers in a definite rhythm. Every day thousands of people gather at Plaza del Ayuntamiento at 2 pm to witness this event. Become a part of this crowd to watch the marvel of Mascletas for about ten minutes. You could watch Mascleta on all afternoons from 1st March till 19th March.
‘Castillo’ is another regular event held from 15th — 18th March at midnight. It is a mesmerizing display of fireworks and not just an explosion of a green ball here, and a red star there. The artistic harmony and aesthetic exhibition of Castillo lasting about 15 minutes is beyond description. You have to be there to believe it. On 18th March, Castillo is followed by ‘Nit De Foc’ or ‘night of fire’. Whatever you view is Castillo, Nit De Fac is beyond those — extra visual, extra special and extra amazing. Stay back for an additional 30 minutes to remain a spellbound witness to this fabulous fireworks display.
‘Cavalgada Folklorica’ is another event of Valencia fiesta which would amaze you. This is a carnival of rural tradition which is vibrant, colorful and musical. Dance bands, music parties, horse-drawn carts metal represent the rural traditions of Valencia in its original form. Even representative bands from overseas countries like China, Brazil, and Ukraine participate in this carnival. This late evening festival from 10 pm to midnight is held at Plaza de Ayuntamiento on 16th March.
‘Ofrenda de las Flores’ or ‘the offering of flowers’ is perhaps the most colorful event of this festival in Valencia. Over 17th and 18th March between 4pm to 1am communities dressed in the most colorful traditional costumes arrive in hordes to deck up a wooden silhouette of Virgin Mary with carnation flowers. All roads leading to Plaza de la Virgen get blocked to traffic, and the smell of flowers extends up to miles. It is a treat to watch these joyous processions singing and dancing to the accompaniment of music. You would get totally involved.
‘La Crema’ or ‘burning of the Fallas’ is the climax of Las Fallas de Valencia which lasts from 10 pm till 2 am. Held on 19th March, the last day of the 5-day carnival, ‘Crema’ involves burning of the ‘fallas’ or combustible idols in certain pre-designated areas. Plaza de la Reina, Plaza de Ayuntamiento, Plaza del Mercado, and Plaza de Doctor Collado are the venues of holding these ‘crema’. The fallas are burnt to the ecstatic cheers of crowds. Become a part of the crowd and join in the frenzy.
Be in Valencia once during Las Fallas festival and you are sure to come back for at least once more.
Accommodation and Dining
Valencia in Spain has hotels catering to travelers of all requirements. For a luxury accommodation check-up with Hotel Sidi Saler, Sh Ingles, Melia Plaza, and Holiday Inn. You could also choose from Venecia, Sercotel Ad Hoc, or Ayre Astoria for a comfortable stay.
While in Valencia during the festival period do not miss out on the Spanish delicacies like grilled salmon served with garlic butter sauce, onion-stuffed cod served with green pepper sauce, duck breast served with Rioja wine sauce, ‘Arroz Cardoso de bogavante’- a lobster recipe, and cauliflower mousse. La Sucursal, Eladio, Ca’n Bermel, and Civera are some of the better-known restaurants serving authentic Spanish cuisine.
Related Links :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_z_svLFe_I&feature=related: Check out the great festivities, the interesting fallas, and the general vibrancy of Valencia during the Las Fallas festival in this interesting travel video, which also includes a slideshow. Just click and enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXoE9-ZGt3Q&feature=related: For views of the climactic burning of the fallas, click on this link! You can see the great fireworks on display during this part of the festival.