VALENCIA TO HOLD SPECIAL EDITION OF FAMOUS LAS FALLAS FIRE FESTIVAL IN SEPTEMBER 2021
Valencia has announced that it will finally hold its famous Las Fallas celebrations this September, as both March 2021’s festival and last year’s event were cancelled due to the pandemic. The new dates for Las Fallas are 1-5 September and have been selected as the school holidays will still be running, the weather will not have turned from summer, and it does not coincide with the city’s patron saint festivals.
Las Fallas festival, featured on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list, is held to honour San José and takes its name from the huge, cartoonish, papier-mâché models that fill the streets of Valencia during the festival. The festival features firework displays, live music, traditional costumes and elaborate live decorating exhibits, such as the Ofrenda de Flores where flowers are placed on a giant sculpture of the Virgin Mary. However, the highlight of the week is the final night of the festival when the sculptures are ceremoniously set ablaze during Nit de la Cremá.
According to local legend, the traditions of Las Fallas originated Pre-Christianity from the spring cleaning practices of pre-Christian Iberian carpenters. During winter, they would construct parots, wooden beams with torches which allowed them to continue their work despite having fewer hours of daylight. To mark the transition from winter to spring, the carpenters would pile up the parots and burn them in the streets. The craftsmen started to hold competitions for the biggest bonfire and would place crafted shapes and characters in the centre. These traditions then evolved into artists spending a year hand decorating fantasticallly intricate structures to be burnt during the festival that's celebrated by thousands today! Here's how to celebrate this September:
Wednesday, 1st September
- 8.00 am - Plantà (set-up) of all the children’s fallas (sculptures).
- 10.30 am - Reading of the ‘people’s verdict’ and proclamation of the Ninot Indultat (the only figure saved from burning) for 2021.
- Midnight - Nit de L'albà (fireworks display) on the fallas (sculptures) around the city.
Thursday, 2nd September
- 5.30 pm - Children’s fallas awards ceremony to pick the best fallas.
Friday, 3rd September
- 9.00 am – Award ceremony to pick the best fallas. The winner will be erected in the City Hall.
- 5.00pm–midnight - Ofrenda (offering) of flowers to Our Lady of the Forsaken.
Saturday, 4th September
- 9.00am–midnight Ofrenda (offering) of flowers to Our Lady of the Forsaken.
- 1.30 am - Nit del Foc (fireworks display) at different locations around the city.
Sunday, 5th September
- 10.00 am - Ofrenda (offering) of flowers by the Falleras Mayores (Queens of las Fallas) of Valencia and their Courts of Honour before the image of the Patriarch at San José Bridge.
- 6.00 pm - High Mass in honour of St Joseph at Valencia Cathedra
- 8.00 pm - 11.00 pm - *Cremà (burning) of the fallas in Ayuntamiento Square.
Every day at 2.00 pm - Mascletà (loud fireworks display) at different locations throughout the city.
For more information on Valencia as a visitor destination and how to celebrate the festival visit www.visitvalenica.com
For more information on Spain as a visitor destination, please visit www.spain.info or contact Spain@wearelotus.co.uk.