All you need to know about Fallas!
If you’re in Valencia, you must have heard about the Fallas festival! But do you know what it’s all about? With only a few days to go until we begin to celebrate Fallas 2023, we’d like to introduce you to the most popular festival in the Comunidad Valenciana!
What is Fallas?
If you ask any person from Valencia what the biggest event of the region is, without a doubt they’ll answer: LAS FALLAS!
Music, parades, traditional costumes, pyrotechnic spectacles, fireworks, noise, gunpowder. This is Fallas, when Valencia comes alive every March with a mix of culture, history, parties, gastronomy and sound! Fallas is the largest festivity in Valencia and internationally recognized, so much so that it was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2016.
But… what actually is Fallas? Its name refers both to the celebration and the monuments that are constructed and distributed among the city during this time, which are then burnt on the last day of the celebration, on the 19th of March. But you must be thinking… what’s the sense in that? People say the origin of this unique event dates back to many centuries ago when a group of carpenters led by “San José” started the tradition of burning their old furniture on the 19th of March. That’s why it’s a tradition celebrated annually, on the same five days, from the 15th to the 19th of March – in which on the last day all the monuments are burnt in commemoration of “San José”.
Fallas is the result of strong cultural heritage transmitted through different generations, and more than a simple event – some could say it’s a lifestyle for the people of Valencia who work towards it all year round, culminating in the main even in March. Every monument distributed among the city is a different “Falla” and has its own name, its own community group (known as “Falleros/as”) and its own events program. People worldwide come to Valencia during this time to enjoy a unique Valencian experience, so if you’re already in Valencia, you’re in luck!
What are the main events?
It’s essential to learn about the main events of Las Fallas, which will take place in Valencia over the next few weeks:
- «La Cridà» is the event which officially kicks off the celebration of Fallas. “Ja estem en Falles!”, which roughly translates to “Fallas is here!” is the message that the city officials shout to open the celebration. This weekend you will have the opportunity to experience this event on Sunday, 26th of February at the Torres de Serranos!
- «La Mascletà» is the largest pyrotechnic spectacle which takes place in the heart of Valencia, whereby gunpowder is exploded, with the main aim being to create huge amounts of noise! Next week (from the 1st of March) you will be able to enjoy this, where every day at 14:00h, the main square or «Plaza del Ayuntamiento» gets filled with thousands of people, prepared to experience this earth-shaking event. Every “Mascletà” is introduced with the sentence “Señor Pirotècnic, ja pot començar la mascletà!” (in the Valencian language), which means “Sir Pyrotechnic, the Mascletà can now start!”.
- «La nit del Foc«, which literally means «The night of fire» is the largest fireworks show in Valencia. The night of Saturday the 18th of March, the sky of Valencia is filled with color and light, we guarantee it’ll be one of the most impressive fireworks displays you’ll ever see!
- «La Cremà» is the last night of the festivities, when the «Fallas» monuments are burnt. If you are in Valencia during this time, you can’t miss it. It will take your breath away!
The various parades are also a remarkable experience, where you can appreciate the typical clothing, dances, and music of the Falleros. Now you know more about Fallas… are you excited to celebrate Fallas 2023?