In the middle of the Mediterranean coast, Valencia city, celebrates each year the final days of the winter and the arrival of spring with spectacular fires and pyrotechnics. From March 15 to 19 (the feast of Saint Joseph, day of the father in the whole country), Valencia is given over to a carnival of bonfires, fiesta, fireworks and a healthy dose of satire known as Las Fallas, the fires.
Las Fallas is one of the most incredible festivals in a country where incredible festivals are the norm rather than the exception. But, however prepared for Las Fallas you think you are, you will still be surprised by the sheer craziness of it all.
Las Fallas literally means "the fires" in Valencian. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”), which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-machè and plaster statues. Each one in some way satirises a political figure, or a soap star, or more exotic creatures from the movies, TV, sports idols, or simply imagination. Some of them are grotesque, others playful and charming. The labor intensive ninots, often costing up to £40,000, are crafted by neighborhood organizations and take almost the entire year to construct. Many ninots are several stories tall and need to be moved into their final location of over 350 key intersections and parks around the city with the aid of lorries on the day of la plantà (the rising).
Every day at 2pm firecrackers rip through the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in an noisy event called la Mascletá. This concert of gunpowder is very popular and involves different neighbourhood groups competing for the most impressive volley, ending with the terremoto, (literally means "earthquake") as hundreds of masclets exploting simultaneously.
Celebrations draw to an end with a fabulous firework display in the Paseo de la Alameda, called the Nit del Foc (literally "The Night of Fire"), on March 18. All Fallas burn all over the city the following night in a tremendous spectacle of fire and joy. Valencia is at that moment like Nero´s Rome, a city in flames. That’s why Valencians call this the best firework fiesta in the world!
Historians say that the origins of the festival go back to the time when carpenters cleared out their workshops and talleres at the end of winter, throwing out odds and ends of wood and old candles and lighting them on the street the day of Saint Joseph.
Valencia is located at the mid point of the Spanish east Mediterranean coast, 350 kms east of Madrid and 350 kms south of Barcelona. Valencia has an international airport very well communicated with other main airports in Spain and european cities.La nit del foc (the fire night)
Mascleta (earthquake fireworks):