Fiesta of creativity & Fire
The 1st of March sees the beginning, in Valencia, of what has to be one of the most spectacular and exciting months in the whole of Europe.
Fallas is the most extraordinary festival, celebrated only in the Comunidad de Valencia and mainly in the city itself. Supposedly originating from a time way back when carpenters would chuck out old offcuts of wood into the street and set fires to welcome spring - the festival has grown into a feast for all the senses.
Up to 500 huge, highly decorative and beautifully made satirical sculptures, constructed from flammable materials, are set up in every square of the city on the 15th of March. Each sculpture carries satirical verses written in Valenciá, and street parties are held by each one every day and night of the week.This continues, almost without a break until the 19th, when the sculptures, or ninots, are set light to and burned.
2 million visitors to the city come to stare in wonder at these massive creations, (they have to be seen to believed!) and to watch some of the most incredible firework displays , both day and night - Yes, daytime fireworks, or Máscletas, a display of noise and smoke mainly, so loud you are advised to keep your mouth open to avoid bursting your eardrums! - and to watch the Crema - the burning of the Ninots. Of these 2million visitors, most are Spanish as the fallas is a well-kept secret in the rest of the world.
It is one the very best reasons to visit Valencia, There is so much to see and do, the city is alive night and day and if you have the stamina you could party for five days and nights without a break. There are free concerts and dances throughout the city , there are street markets, food vendors selling a special type of doughnut (Buñuelos) available only at this festival time eaten with thick dunking chocolate, there are bullfights, there are the exquisite costumes of the Falleras and Falleros (elected representatives of the Fallas), marching bands and solemn processions (one, the Ofrenda, takes two days and consists of 150,000 Falleras processing through the city to the cathedral to decorate an enormous Virgin Mary with flowers) and every bar and café in the city is open all hours to keep your strength up with food and drink.
Fallas are big satirical monuments that crowd the streets of the region of Valencia from the 14th to the 19th of March. They depict world events, politics and daily life in a comic and burlesque way.
On the last night they are set on fire in honour of San Jose and to celebrate the start of spring.
Wondering around Valencia feels like a mixture of a visit to a museum and a theme park.
Many Falla artists, as they are called, actually do design and build decorations for theme parks and parades all over the world. The quality of the Fallas is just outstanding.
Walt Disney would be jealous.
laugh with it.
These really are works of art, not only for the craftsmanship involved, but also because it contains a strong message.
This message is explained by the artist responsible in little books that can be bought.
This actually functions as a guide that explains the vision of the artist, just like in a museum. Sadly enough this booklets are only available in Valenciano (as far as we know)