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An Insiders Guide On How To Enjoy The Fallas In Valencia

 

Insiders Guide On How To Enjoy The Fallas In Valencia

If it’s your first time attending the Fallas festival then you’re in for a treat! We’ve lived in Valencia for five years and this is one of the many Valencian traditions that we STILL get very excited about! The Fallas Festival is one of the biggest events in Valencia. Every year tourists from all over the world flock to this amazing city to experience and celebrate two weeks of fireworks, art and culture.

What Is The Fallas Festival?

The Fallas is a long time Valencian tradition that dates as far back as the Middle Ages when artisans disposed of the broken artefacts and pieces of wood they saved during the winter by burning them to celebrate the start of spring.

Over the years the tradition has continued to evolve. These days artists from many communities of Valencia create ‘paper mâché’ structures called ‘Ninots’ that can stand up to 50 feet high! The ‘ninots’ are usually satirical of nature and make humorous innuendoes about local, national or international events or personalities from the past year.

 

What Happens During The Fallas?

From the 1st to the 19th of March of every year, gunpowder, parties, paellas, fire and music take precedence over the city, towns and villages. So if it’s noise, fireworks and celebrations that you’re looking for then the Fallas Festival is for you. This is the time of year where Valencians celebrate the end of winter by creating enormous effigies usually with a satire theme which are then displayed and shown all over the city.

Make Your Ears Ring By Attending The Mascleta

If it is a quiet and relaxing break that you’re looking for then I would advise avoiding Valencia at this time of year. Every day at 14:00 pm you can see and listen to the Mascleta in the Plaza De Ayuntamiento (Town Square). This 5 whole minutes of ear rattling set of explosions and smoke is not for the faint-hearted.  Make sure that you get there early as it gets very busy! I would advise snagging a place by the Ayuntamiento two hours before to get the best view and enjoy the whole experience.

Visit The Ninot Exhibition

Until March the 14th of March you can visit the Exhibition of the Ninots, where you will be able to see all the ‘ninots’ that the towns of Valencia have created. A ‘ninot’ will then chosen to be spared from the fire (Cremà) and shown forevermore in the Museo Fallero.

Do Not Miss The Plantà

Plantà which literally means ‘planted’. On the 15th of March, all the ‘ninots’ are planted all over the city, ready for the public to see. Every neighbourhood and streets are filled with these impressive monuments or all colours, shapes and sizes. Most are dedicated to satirical humour. You can see them during the day or go in the evening if you want something quieter. I would recommend viewing the ones around the Town Hall they are usually the most impressive.

See The Offering Of The Flowers

Probably the most traditional moments of the Fallas is the offering of the flowers to the Virgen De Los Desamparados. On the evening of the 17th and the 18th of March Falleras from every town in Valencia dressed in a typical Valencian costume carry floral offerings to the Virgin placed on the Plaza de la Virgen. This event is a must see and showcases an incredible display of colours and tradition.

Celebrate The Night Of Fire (La Nit De Foc)

La Gran Nit del Foc is one of the main and lively events that marks the end of the Fallas, which usually takes place on the evening of March 18th in the Paseo de la Alameda. This show of dazzling fireworks display takes place during the dawn of March 19th leading up to an earth shattering end. Make sure you take your place early as it can get VERY busy! The best spot to see this marvellous show of colours and sound is by the edge of the river Turia.

Party Away In A Verbena

Parties during the Fallas in Valencia is obligatory. If you thought the ‘ninots’, mascletà, and the offering of flowers was more than enough, then you haven’t seen anything yet. A ‘verbena’ is held in the Paseo de la Alameda between the 15th to the 19th of March. This mother of all parties usually involves food, music, dancing and more fireworks! The only challenge you will face is whether you can keep up with the Valencians until the early hours of the morning!

The Cremà

The cremà is a very unique and impressive show of fire and it’s an event that you have to see at least once in your life. Now that the winning ninots have been chosen, the rest of them will be burnt in the cremà. They usually start with the smallest at 22:00 pm and build up to the last and biggest one at midnight. If you plan your itinerary well you maybe be able to witness the destruction of these impressive monuments. It is a shame to watch them burn but this is what the Fallas is all about.

The Fallas is simply one of the most impressive festivals in Spain. With the festival starting from the 1st to the 19th of March, there’s plenty of time to plan your visit. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere and enjoy this amazing festival that the Valencians are very proud of!

Quick Map Guide Of The Fallas In Valencia

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16 comments

  • Lyne

    June 21, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I had never heard about this festival before, it was a very interesting read. While I’m not very fan of very crowded event it makes me want to experience it once in my life ! :)

    1. Maria

      June 22, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      I’m the same with crowds, but this is an exception and I guess it’s not so bad as I know what to expect! If you do decide to give it a try, I would suggest coming during the first week when it’s still pretty ‘quiet’! Thanks for dropping by!

  • Ania Travels

    June 21, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I wish I knew about this festival, I was living in Seville since March and totally would have made a trip to Valencia to check it out. It looks like a ton of fun.

    1. Maria

      June 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Oh, shame you missed it! Yes, it’s a great party atmosphere and a must-see if you’re ever in Spain at this time of year! I would also love to see Sevilla, but I think I’ll leave it this year and plan for next Spring, I heard summer is not the best time to visit! 😅

  • Jasmine

    June 21, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I had never heard of the Fallas Festival either but it seems like an amazing event. I can’t get over the artisanship of the ninots. Stunning.

    1. Maria

      June 22, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      I know right? It’s a shame they have to burn them in the end but I guess that’s how it is! Thanks for dropping by!

  • The Italian Chica

    June 21, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Really nice article! I’ve been to Las Fallas 2 years ago and it was a very interesting experience! I couldn’t sleep during the night haha since there were people till 6.00 am dancing and singing in the street and I was scared when a statue was burn because the flames were really high, BUT I’ve really appreciated the effort, the warmth and the joy of the people of Valencia! It’s worth to participate! :) :)

    1. Maria

      June 22, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Oh for sure. It’s not for everyone I know a few people who came to see it, and they weren’t too impressed with the constant noise and partying. That’s why I think it’s important to know what to expect! Valencians are hard when it comes to partying. I’ve lived here for 5 years and STILL, I’ve not attended the late night/morning fiestas! Maybe one day, never say never! Thanks for dropping by! :D

  • Miranda

    June 21, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Fire, food, and parties?? Fallas sounds like a fantastic festival to me! It would be fun to add this to a trip a bit longer to spend 1-2 days here and see the rest of the country :)

    1. Maria

      June 22, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      For sure. I would recommend it if you’re ever in Spain at this time of year! I think 1-3 days is good, I don’t think I could cope for 2 weeks of constant noise and partying. I’m glad we live a little further from the city but convenient enough to see the ninots and attend the fiestas if we wish. But saying that, our town have their own parties so we can’t completely get away. Still, it’s a great tradition that we look forward to every year!

  • Kelly

    June 21, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Too bad I didn’t visit around this time. I would have loved to check out this amazing festival. I love how it has evolved into an exteavaganza and I would love to see some of these paper mache creations.

  • Megan

    June 21, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    I have never even heard of this festival! I really need to start getting out more! This looks like a blast :)

  • Mariella

    June 21, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    What a great post! This looks like an experience of a lifetime. I’ve actually never heard of this festival before – I’m excited I got to discover it haha Thanks for sharing! Safe travels. xoxo – Mariella

  • Melissa

    June 22, 2017 at 7:28 am

    I’d never heard of this festival before, but it sounds amazing! Spain always has the best stuff :)

  • Alice Ford

    June 22, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Great Post, I had never heard of the Fallas festival until now and it sounds awesome.

  • Melissa @ The Family Voyage

    June 23, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I’ve never heard of the Fallas! One the one hand it looks really interesting, but on the other hand I think the mass burning of effigies could be sort of terrifying.

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