Las Fallas, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
Finally, after a whole year waiting, Las Fallas have arrived to Valencia!
Valencia “la tierra de las flores, de la luz y del amor”
Land of flowers, light and love and in March the city reaches the height of its expression with The Fallas. Tradition, lights, monuments, flowers, costumes, music, fireworks and all this combined together result in one of the most emotional festivals of the world.
Les falles (in Valencian language) is a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph and Virgin Mary, our Lady of the Abandoned, known lovingly as the “Geperudeta”.
An incredible way to say goodbye to winter and give a warm welcome to spring
This festival was added to UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage on 30 November 2016 and now you will discover why is this so special!
Las fallas is an event that involves the whole city. Each neighborhood has an organized group of people that works all year long holding private fundraising to assume all the costs of the party like the monument, fireworks, concerts, etc. It’s a kind of private club of the neighborhood where friends meet every week to eat, drink and from time to time they organized also holidays together and a lot of activities related to las Fallas. We can say that the spirit of Fallas stays alive all year long.
Everything starts with “La Crida” (The Call) the last Sunday of February where the Fallera Mayor together with the Fallera Mayor Infantil, the Court of Honor and the Mayor of the city begin the festival.
From the 1st of March take place la Mascletà every day in the city’s main square at 2 o’clock. A mascletà is an explosive pyrotechnic event characterized by the achievement of a noisy and rhythmic composition.
The 15th of March starts the real thing with “la Plantà”.
This day all the monuments are to be finished and constructed in each neighborhood. Those artistic sculptures are made of cardboard and paper-mâché giving live to the “ninots”. The ninots are constructed according to a broad theme, showing the most important news of the moment and the social trends in a satirical way. Usually politicians receive all the love and passion of the fallero-artists
- From this day till the 19th will start in every corner of the city a non stop party, starting at 8 o’clock in the morning with marching bands a firecrackers called la despertà (kind of special wake-up service for all the citizens) and a lot of events will follow during the day until 4 o’clock in the morning, when music stops and everyone has a few hours to recover energy for the next day.
Castillos de fuegos artificiales and “La Nit del Foc”
On the nights of the 15th, 16th, 17th there are firework displays in the old riverbed Turia. Each night is progressively grander, or at least should be, until the 18th that is the most impressive firework and that’s why this night is called “la Nit del Foc” (the Night of Fire). Not to be confused with “La cremà” next day.
L’Ofrena de flors take place the 17th and 18th of March.
In this event, all the falleras and falleros take an offering of flowers to the Virgin Mary. At the end of the 18th the statue of Our Lady of the Abandoned is full covered with flowers.
The 19th of March around midnight all the fallas are burnt.
If you are still alive after 3 days of intense partying and walking, you will witness the most emotional moment of Valencia. That’s the climax of the whole event. It is very emotive to see how all the hard work of the whole year comes to the end between the flames. People usually things that we are crazy, because we are burning so beautiful pieces of art and they may be right, but there is a cultural philosophy behind this act:
“If old things don’t go, new things will never come”
Castevia Imports invite you to Valencia to discover this beautiful city, land of flowers, light and love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to live with us this festival, so you can enjoy it as well. Anything you would like to know, feel free to ask and we will be happy to help you.