What is Las Fallas?
Las Fallas is the name of the festival and how they call the monuments or big “ninots”. It takes place in the city of Valencia, always in March, and the big day is on the 19th March as it is Saint Joseph’s Day, the sait who protects the city, and when all the ninots except one, will be burned.
The Fallas or Ninots takes an entire year to complete, as people from each neighbourhood in the city create one of these big monuments for the festival. All the nintos have a satirical or critithism purpose, generaly speaking, about the two main plots Spanish people talk about in bars: politics and football or soccer.
The contest of Las Fallas Festival in Valencia
Almost each neighbourhood has been working for building a falla or ninot during an entire year. For what? Well, for being exhibited on the 16th March, when the festival starts, in the street and for being burned on the 19th at night, during La Crema.
But wait, there’s much more than this. Each neighbourhood has a falla for children (infantil) and an adult’s falla (mayor). The jury of the contest will fall 14 fallas into the Special Edición category, and these are the most expensive, bigger and impressive fallas. The ones you must see.
And on the 19th, the jury will indult one of the ninots. So only one of the Fallas will escape from the burning. The rest of the fallas, all of them, will be burned. The Fallas infantiles (the ones for kids) will start burning on the 19th March at 10pm, while the Fallas mayores (for adults), at midnight.
Las Fallas facts
Keep reading and check out interesting facts about las fallas and how people celebrate the festival.
History of Las Fallas de Valencia
As we mentioned, Saint Joseph is the city saint protector. Saint Joseph used to be a carpenter, and the festival comes from the tradition of Valencian carpenters buring their usless works and the oil lamps they used to work at nights during winter.
Due to this, the night of the “cremà” (which means “burning” in Valencian language)is on the 19th March, Festivity of Saint Joseph, and all the ninots or fallas, except one, will be burned.
When is Las Fallas celebrated
From 1st March to 19th, there are events every day in Valencia.
Check out the Official Program of Las Fallas 2014 at the Valencia city hall site.
From our point of view, is best to arrive to Valencia on the 16th, when all the Fallas are finished in the streets.
However, from 1st to 15th March, the city does its preparation to host the visitors and create the optimal atmosphere for the festival. From 1st March until the end of the festival, each day at 2pm, Valencia smells gunpowder, as La Mascletà takes place in the main square, in front of the city hall. Hundreds of fireworks explode in the square. Do not imagine those beautiful fireworks in the air, that’s just noise. A lot of noise!
Nice events for kids take place during these days too. Check out our post “How to celebrate with your kids one of the most important festivals in Spain: Las Fallas de Valencia”.
Las Fallas fireworks
Fireworks is another important event during Las Fallas festival in Valencia. From the 1st March until the end of the festival,there are three firework moments each day in the city: la desperta, la mascleta and el castillo.
La desperta: this word would mean something like “waking up”. You could guess we’re talking about fireworks for waking you up at 8am.
La mascleta: As we mentioned, these are the fireworks that occur at 2pm in the main square of the city, at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Valencia. This one is the most popular, so if you want to see it, you’ll have to go to that square at least one hour before the show starts.
El castillo: there are also fireworks at night, from 1am to 2am.
Las Fallas food: tipical food to try during the festival
All over the city you will see funny donut things, without the hole in the middle, and lots of sugar, being served in the streets. These are buñuelos and they will be served with a chocolate ‘thick drink’ for dunking them in.
Aswell as buñuelos, you’ll find “churrerías” along the streets where to buy churros.
Bocata de blanc i negre: It is a sandwich which has “morcilla” (sausage with rice and pork blood), “longaniza” (a white sausage) and a local variety of haba beans.
… and of course,
Paella (and different sort of rice dishes): This is your chance to try it where it’s from, so go for it! Be careful though: as there’s lots of foreigners during those days, some paellas are made in a rushing way and are sold as fast food. That’s for sure a bad paella. If you want to enjoy a real one, go to a nice restaurant and pay for it.
Las fallas museum: the Museo Fallero
If you want to see fallas or ninots which where not burned in previous editions, go to the las fallas museum in Valencia. Located in Calle Monteolivete nr 4, in this museum you’ll be able to see ninots from 1934.
Timetable of the Museo Fallero:
From 15th March to 15th October:
Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 7pm
Sunday and holidays, from 10am to 3pm
From 16th October to 14th March:
Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 6pm
Sunday and holidays, from 10am to 3pm
On Mondays, las fallas museum is closed.
The price of the entrance is just 2 Euros, and on Sundays and holidays, you’ll get in for free.
Las fallas costumes
Once you’ll get to Valencia during Las Fallas Festival, you’ll see people dressed in a traditional way. All those costumes are the typical Valencian dresses and the good ones, cost minimum 1.000 Euros. Generally speaking, are made of jewelry or beautiful stones.
Important and practical things to remember during Las Fallas Festival in Valencia
Be aware and remember that:
The most impressive fallas are the ones called “Sección Especial”
For seen them, remember to get early in the morning to those neighbourhoods, as the streets will be too crowded later
Avoid taking your car and take public transport. Most of the important streets are pedestrian during these days. And traffic is sort of crazy during Las Fallas festival.
Do not leave Valencia without tring few churros and buñuelos
Restaurants will be very crowded. Make a booking in advance if you can. Take your own food. Or just remember you’ll have to wait a bit for having lunch.
During Las Fallas Festival, Valencia is very crowded. Remember to book your hotel or accomodation in advance.
If you’re traveling with your children, we recommend visiting the Fallas early in the morning, when it’s not too crowded. In the evening some pedestrians play with fireworks and you have to be careful with people who just want to party and do not respect others
As seen in www.spainatyourpace.com