Every region in the world has its own traditions to celebrate the start of spring. In Valencia, Spain, the streets fill up with the hustle and bustle of the Las Fallas Festival – it’s one of our favourite festivals to follow here at Fireworks Crazy!
The origins of Las Fallas
The origins of the Las Fallas festival are not entirely known. One theory suggests the roots of the celebration to go all the way back to the Middle Ages when artisans disposed of broken artefacts and wood items by burning them in the spring to celebrate its return. Whatever the true origins, the festival is now considered a celebration of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.
The story goes that Valencia carpenters used wooden planks to hang their candles during the dark winter night. These planks, known as parots, were no longer needed in the spring and as a celebration, the carpenters set fire to them.
Over the years, the parots have taken a central role in the festival. They are now dressed in clothing – often been made to look like a famous celebrity or a politician. People began donating clothing and rags to these wooden figurines, essentially turning the whole thing into a neighbourhood event that resulted in a huge burning of the fallas, or bonfire.
Nowadays, each neighbourhood in the city builds its own fallero or figurine. These figurines will be judged and the winner chosen before it’s all set in flames!
Las Fallas 2018
Every March, the city of Valencia celebrates Las Fallas for days. From March 1 to 19, the Plaza del Ayuntamiento witnesses a mascletà, which is a display of gunpowder explosions in a musical rhythm. This fantastic and explosive event happens each day at 2 pm. Here is a clip from last year’s first mascletà:
The real party starts on the 15th and it lasts until the big event on the 19th. The 15th and 16th are when the figurines are set up for the proceedings – each neighbourhood has just two days to get theirs done. On the morning of the 17th, the falleros will be judged and the winner announced.
On 17th and 18th, the city will turn into a huge flower arrangement as well. The Plaza de la Virgin will be filled with flower offerings, made in the honour of the Patron Saint of Valencia, Lady of the Forsaken.
The real exciting bit happens on the 19th. This is when the figurines will be lit up, with the falla in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento going up last at 1 am. Of course, all of this will be followed by a spectacular fireworks display!
In fact, fireworks happen each night from 15th to 19th. At midnight, colourful and loud fireworks are set off – Nit del Foc, which means Night of Fire, is one of the most stunning firework displays you’ll ever see!
A festival of light and colour
Las Fallas is a wonderful way to welcome spring. The festival is full of colour, sounds and, of course, beautiful fireworks! If you can, we recommend you fly to Valencia to experience this crazy festival in 2018.
For those that can’t get to Spain – you can buy colourful fireworks at Firework Crazy and have your own party to say goodbye to the dark winter nights!