Celebrate the arrival of Spring at Valencia's Las Fallas fiesta
The streets of Valencia come alive in March with the arrival of spring marked by the annual Las Fallas festival. Fireworks, music, traditional clothing and giant sculptures, made from papier-mâché and taking the shape of well-known personalities and celebrities are burnt as a way of leaving negativity behind and welcoming the new season.
From 15 to 19 March, those celebrating Las Fallas fill the streets of the city, with over 2 million visitors gathering in Valencia during Spain’s most unique and wild festival. 800 giant sculptures are made out of wood, plaster and papier-mâché before being burnt on huge fires throughout the city.
Between 1 and 19 March, at 2pm every day the traditional sound of the mascletá begins to play from the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, followed by a display of gunpowder explosions that beat out in time to the music. The city’s terraces soon begin to fill as people enjoy aperitifs and traditional Valencian food under the Mediterranean sun.
From 15 to 18 March, Valencia’s sky is filled with colour and light thanks to the impressive firework displays. People gather on the Paseo de la Alameda at 12 midnight where the most spectacular display can be seen. The Nit del foc (night of fire) takes place on 18th March in the early hours, boasting a one-of-a-kind firework display.
The 15 March is when the ‘plantà of fallas’ takes place; when the 800 sculptures are installed throughout Valencia’s squares and streets during the evening. The morning of the 16 March sees the city filled with caricatures which can be enjoyed by visitors over the next few days.
The night of 19 March sees the Fallas monuments burnt - apart from two ninots which are chosen by vote and saved from the flames to be shown at the Fallas Museum. Crowds gather throughout the streets, locals enjoy typical buñuelos, a kind of sweet fried doughnut, from one of the many stalls – often served with a thick, hot chocolate drink.
Las Fallas is a wonderful festival, and a great time of year to visit Valencia and get a taste for their love of local fiestas and celebrations.