Fallas of Valencia 2013
Every year, in Valencia and in a lot of towns of the Valencian community, people celebrate the Fallas (Spanish) ou Falles (Valencian). It’s on from the 1st of March to the 19th of March and here are some facts. (source: Wikipedia)
- Last Sunday of February: the Despertà (wake-up call by the town’s firecrackers at 7:30 in the morning) and the Crida (the call) at 8:00 in the evening (the fallera major proclaims the official opening of the festivities)
- Every day, from the 1st to the 19th of March, in the Town hall square, at 2:00 in the afternoon, la Mascletà takes place, pyrotechnic sound show with very strong power that lasts 7 minutes.
- On the night of the 15th, it’s the Plantà : people raise gigantic monuments (fallas) made out of mixed materials and of bright colours and held by wooden structures used as skeletons. The whole town participates.
- You can find a falla at every corner. They are raised by the 380 casales falleros of each neighbourhood. Each casal exposes a falla major (for the adults) and a falla infantil (for the kids), which makes a total of 760 fallas spread out in Valencia.
- They are built in big workshops called falleros workshops and as we said raised on the 15th. A jury goes to see all the fallas of Valencia on the 16th of March and gives out the prizes.
- The casales are neighbourhood associations gathering volunteers who all year round organise and collect funds for this celebration. The casales have each a fallera major (Queen of the falla). One of them will be elected fallera major the following year for the whole town of Valencia.
- The cremà (from the verb cremar, to burn)
The fallas raised on the 15th are burnt in the middle of a fireworks blaze between midnight and 1 in the morning on the 19th of March. Only the ninots indultats will be saved: figurines that each fallera major decides to keep, as a souvenir. People can also vote for the falla they want to save!
For our first time here, we went with a colleague of mine and her fiancé. We first saw the Mascletà on Monday 18th of March. The town hall square was crowded and to be able to get a good view you had to be there early. We waited for about one hour and a half. It was long but it was worth it because it was really impressive. Little glimpse of it:
Then, we ate and we walked round the streets of Valencia to see the different fallas. Some of them were huge and others were a lot smaller.
During these celebrations, a lot of churros stands are put in the city. They obviously sell churros but also buñuelos which are the typical dessert during the fallas.
There were also procession of the casales who were going to the Virgin Mary square to place flowers and create a giant Virgin Mary out of flowers. The falleras‘ dresses were really gorgeous!
On the 19th of March, we met my colleague and her fiancé again and we had dinner together. Then we went to the town hall square again for the last fireworks (there was one every night from the 15th to the 19th) and for the cremà. We waited a bit less than an hour. There were some weird people who made us laugh a lot! We had found a great spot and we were able to see everything from a close point of view. The fireworks were splendid and the cremà too. You can see what it looks like on this video:
If you don’t know what to do next year between the 15th and 19th of March, we highly recommend you to come to Valencia and see the fallas!