Valencia is famous for many things – its oranges, its beaches, its paella, ¿and a massive and fantastic event held in March every year that will get you asking yourself what is Las Fallas?
The Las Fallas festival is an annual event held from the 1st to the 19th March. It is Spains loudest fiesta, combining music, tradition, political and social satire, las Fallas food and fireworks, all in one street party with something for all ages.
Now an important event on the calendar of Spanish culture, Las Fallas is fun for all, from couples to those looking to enjoy familiy holidays in Spain.
It began as a simple festival for the carpenters who wanted to celebrate the first days of spring, specifically the start of spring on the 20th March. Here are some Las Fallas fun facts for you! They used to burn the parots or pieces of wood that were used to prop up the lights they worked under through the dark winter months. As time went by they gradually added old clothes, rags and belongings to the pire, eventually forming something reminiscent of a human being, from which come today’s monuments which are burnt as part of the festivities and activities during Las Fallas.
If you want to know what happens during the festivities, you need to head to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento at 2pm for the start of the day’s activities or Mascleta as it is known in Valencian. The Fallera Mayor declares that the fireworks can be started at 2 p.m and its an ear-deafening experience from then onwards as gunpowder fireworks are set off.
When is the festival
The 15th to the 17th March are key for those taking part in the parades with their papier maché, wooden models, ready to show those who have come for the parades what is really going on in society and politics that year. The 15th March is known as La Plantà and it’s when judging starts on the monuments to see which one (known as the ninot induldat – adored child) will be saved from the fire at the end of the festivities.
The 17th March sees an award ceremony for each Fallera mayor with prizes awarded in various categories and the Flower Ofrenda on the 17th and 18th March during which the Plaza de la Virgen is filled with those making a floral offering to the Virgen de los Desamparados, the patron saint of Valencia.
Las Fallas fireworks
The ultimate in Las Fallas fireworks, and arguably the highlight of what happens during Las Fallas are the firework displays which take place every night from the 15th to the 18th – known as the the Nit dos Focs, literally the Night of Fire before the Cremà, or burning which signifies the end of the fiesta on the 19th March during which the monuments are burnt.
As this is THE event of the year in Valencia, the hotels during Las Fallas book up well in advance, so we recommend to book early if you are hoping to enjoy the hospitality of Valencia at peak tourism season.
Where to stay
For where to stay in Valencia, the Catalonia Excelsior hotel is the perfect choice. Located in the centre of Valencia near the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and old town, Valencia Cathedral and the beautiful Art Deco central market are within walking distance. Fresh vegetables, cured hams, and cheese are all available at the market which is open from 7.30 a.m. until 3 p.m. The world-famous City of Arts and Sciences is also close to the Catalonia Excelsior, the ideal hotel for Fallas in Valencia, and is fantastic for those on holiday with children.