The Fallas Festival Valencia
The month of March in Valencia can mean only one thing – the world-famous Fallas festival Valencia is back for another year.
The Las Fallas festivals are among the most popular festivals in Spain, attracting party-goers from all over the world looking to experience one of Spain's most unique festivals.
The spectacular Fallas festivities last a full five days and there are a number of different events that the whole family can enjoy, including the best local cuisine and culture, dancing, live music and fireworks.
Each day the parties carry on late into the night, and the local area of Valencia offers a beautiful backdrop for this unique annual celebration.
This article explores the Fallas celebrations, and what makes them one of the most popular fiestas in Spain.
About the Fallas Festival
The Fallas festival is dedicated to the patron saint of carpenters, it started back in the middle ages when carpenters would hang up planks, called "Parots" during the winter months to support candles whilst they were working.
With the arrival of spring, the planks were burned as a way to celebrate the end of the long dark winter months.
Over the years the carpenters would decorate the Parots with clothing and dress them to be identifiable with well known local personalities.
These became so popular that they started to create bigger and bigger Parots, which in turn became known as "Ninots" the enormous effigies that we see today.
The Ninots are made out of wood, papier-mache, cork and styrofoam.
The Creators - Falleros
These days the Ninots are built by the different neighbourhoods of Valencia, who have committees to organise the building of these huge structures throughout the year.
You can even visit the area known as the "Ciutat Fallera" literally a small city of Falleros who work tirelessly for months creating incredible Ninots, all of which are ritually burned during the Fallas festivals.
Many of the Ninots are cleverly created as satirical lampoons of Spanish and international personalities, celebrities, footballers and politicians.
What To Expect When You Visit The Fallas
If you have never visited the Fallas in Valencia before, the sights, sounds and smells might be overwhelming at first, especially if you are not used to noisy festivals in Spain.
However, you will love the different processions that parade up and down the city streets. Some of the processions are about historical events, while others have religious significance and others are just plain hilarious.
One of the traditions of the festival is to throw bangers – a type of firework – into the streets which can be quite a shock if one catches you unaware.
The event is held at the same time every March, although there have been talks to change the date so that some of the events can take place during the weekend to attract more people to the event.
The day starts early during the festivals, you will be woken up around 8am to the sound of firecrackers and music.
Processions, marching bands, street floats and performers are ongoing all day, the main organised firework displays starts around 2 pm, known as "La Mascleta", the displays can be seen and heard throughout the city.
For the best atmosphere head down to the Town Hall square, the Plaza Ayuntamiento, this is where the party is full-on all day and into the early hours.
The main fireworks display, La Nit de Foc, ( the night of fire ) is a fantastic noisy experience which is followed the next day by one of the main attractions. Known as La Crema, this is when the Ninots are burnt throughout the day.
The largest gathering of the burning of the Ninots is held at the Plaza Ayuntamiento at around 1 am, you will need to get there early for a good spot within the crowded plaza.
Visitors to Valencia
Valencia attracts visitors from all over the world, who flock to the area to visit the museums, galleries, restaurants, shops and attractions.
Many of hotels in the city offer beautiful views of the stunning city, its street and beyond, and the city is known as being one of the most beautiful in Europe.
However, every March, a number of celebrations take place during the Fallas, and several towns in the Valencian community also take part and hold their own celebrations.
Fallas Travel Tips
Valencia Airport has connections with many of the major European countries and is well served by a host of travel links.
Valencia also has its own underground metro network which runs an impressive five lines running from Lliria and Betera in the north to Villanueva de Castellon in the south. it also runs from Valencia International airport to the west of the city to Las Arenas in the east.
With an excellent transport system, it's easy and reasonably cheap to get around.
If you are thinking of attending next years Fallas festivals then you will need to book your hotel in Valencia well in advance as all the best locations close to the city centre soon get booked up.
Recommended accommodation in Valencia
The 5 star Hotel Las Arenas Valencia is located right by the Cabanyal beach and just a 2 minute walk from the Marina. This stylish and luxurious hotel features a gymnasium, sauna and swimming pool plus an on-site restaurant. Reviewer Rating: 9.1
The 2 star Hostal Venecia Valencia offers very good 2 star accommodation. Situated in the heart of the city, Hostal Venecia Valencia provides easy access to Valencia's popular retail and sightseeing areas. There are 66 recently refurbished rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV and private bathrooms. The hostel is close to the Estacio del Nord train station and is just a short stroll from Lonja de la Seda, Valencia Cathedral and the Plaza de Toros. Reviewer Rating: 8.9