- This event has passed.
March 1 - March 19
Every March Valencia gets ready to welcome the spring. The streets fill up with joy and the hustle and bustle of the Fallas festival, the upmost expression of the merger of tradition, satire, art and sentimentality for one’s homeland. The Valencian people live their most international fiesta to the maximum and their kind and natural character invites you to visit the city and join in this fiesta, where everything that is bad is burnt and reborn from the ashes to welcome a new season.
Lighting fires has long been a way to kick off the start of spring. Long before lightbulbs, Valencian carpenters and artisans plied their trades under candlelight, using pieces of wood called parots as wick holders. Come spring, when sunlight replaced candlelight, the parots were burned. The pagan ritual merged with the church’s commemoration of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of the carpenters, and thus Las Fallas was born.
As time passed, traditions evolved. The parots took on human forms. Today, the effigies are dressed up in costumes: the larger ones are called fallas, the smaller, doll-like ones, ninot. Over time, the ninots grew in both size and detail, as did the cartoonish fallas, which typically depict satirical scenes and current events. Polystyrene replaced the fallas’ papier mâché-covered wooden frames, allowing them structures of up to 30 meters (100 feet). During the grand finale, all works end up in a blaze, except for one to be preserved in the Museo Fallero as a symbol of prosperity.