Las Fallas de Valencia
‘Las Fallas’ (translated into ‘the fires’ in English) is a remarkable celebration in the city of Valencia during the month of March to commemorate St. Joseph, from the 15th to the 19th. The name of the event comes from its aim, which is the construction and then burning of ‘ninots’, massive statues that are built throughout the year.
The ‘ninots’ are probably the most important feature of the celebration. Each neighborhood of the city has a group of artists, including artisans, painters and sculptors, amongst others, that create the ninots, which then are displayed during the event on the streets of the whole city. Note that all the ninots have stories, and are built according to their history with certain characteristics, so can be very weird looking (you should look them up!). Days before the celebration there is a parade for everyone to see them and the ninots are taken to their location.
During the celebration, there are specific events taking place. Every day at 2pm, there is ‘La Mascletá’ in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which is a very loud episode of several firecrackers with a rhythm, which shake the whole area. Then, there is also a floral offering to the Virgen de los Desamparados, where everyone meets in the Plaza de la Virgen and delivers flowers to be placed under the figure of the Virgin. It is an amazing and colorful parade that stands-out in Valencia.
On the last night of the Fallas, the ‘Cremá’ occurs, which is the burning of the ninots, where everyone surrounds each ninot and watches them burn- as you can imagine this event is quite emotional. It is very important to know that one of the ninots is voted as most popular, and so it is not burnt and is then exhibited in the Fallas museum. The last key thing you should know is that people dress with the traditional costume of Fallas, and wear them every day- they are very expensive costumes, and they are very important to the people that wear them.
If you want to see what the traditional ninots look like, you should definitely visit the ‘Museo del Artista Fallero’ in Valencia.