Fallas de Valencia: 2018 Program
05 March 2018
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The Party of Fire, Light and Pyrotechnics
Once again Valencia is gearing up for its main party of the year, Las Fallas! A celebration that shows off tradition in spectacular fashion with fire, pyrotechnics, light, satirical figures and of course the fallas themselves. So if you’re thinking of travelling to Valencia, until 19 March there’s a whole host of thrilling events to enjoy!
Origin of the Valencia Fallas
Do you know what the word “falla” means? In medieval Valencian, it referred to the torches lit at the top of watchtowers, although the roots of today’s popular celebrations go back to the purifying bonfires the carpenters’ guild made before the acts to honour their patron saint, San José. This ritual was called the “cremà” and was when carpenters used to clear out their workshops and burn all their wood shavings and old furniture. They would also burn their “parots” (the structures from which they hung their oil lamps), given that spring was on the way, meaning longer days when they would no longer need their lamps. Over time, these “parots” were dressed in costumes and took on human forms, giving rise to the traditional ninots.
2018 Valencia Fallas programme: must-see events
Inscribed on the Unesco Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016, the Valencia Fallas are one of the most exciting festivities in Spain. The Cremà, Floral Offering to the Virgin Mary, the Firework Display and Fire Night and of course the Mascletàs in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in Valencia are just some of the highlights. Check out our programme and don’t miss a thing!
- La Despertà: on Sunday 25 February, the falleros eagerly wake up locals and visitors by setting off masclets (loud firecrackers) and throwing tron de bac petards onto the ground, finishing off with a spectacular firecracker earthquake.
- Mascletà: from 25 February to 19 March, every day at 2 pm, the Plaza del Ayuntamiento fills with locals and tourists eager to experience the world-famous Mascletà: a series of louder and louder rhythmical explosions that create a deafening soundscape.
- 2018 Crida de las Fallas: the Crida will take place on 25 February at 8 pm at the Torres de Serranos to get the Valencia Fallas under way. The falleras mayores (the representatives of the fallera committee) encourage Valencians young and old to take part and enjoy the festivities. It finishes with a pyrotechnics show.
- Ninot Parade: on the afternoon of 3 March the famous Cabalgata del Ninot (human figures usually placed at the base of the fallas) gets under way with bright, elaborate floats in a parade in which the different fallera committees poke fun at a local or global news item. Afterwards awards are given for the best float, best final design and best figure.
- Ninot Exhibition: the fallera committees exhibit more than 800 ninots, both children’s and full size, at the City of the Arts and Sciences in Valencia. Visitors can vote for their favourite ninot, which will be saved from the flames of the Cremà on 19 March. The ninots for the children’s fallas can be visited until 14 March and the full-sizes ones until 15 March.
- Lit-up Streets: don’t leave Valencia without taking a nighttime stroll through its streets, which are lit up for Las Fallas and compete for the prize for best lit street.
- Cultural Heritage Parade: on the afternoon of 11 March there is a parade to celebrate the inclusion of the Valencia Fallas on the Unesco Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- La Plantà: on 15 and 16 March at 9 am the Plantà sees the children’s and full-size fallas raised, respectively. Two dates for your diary if you want to see each and every falla!
- Firework Display and Fire Night: from 15 to 19 March every night from midnight to 1.30 am, there is a huge firework display at the Paseo de la Alameda. The most spectacular pyrotechnics show, though, is without a doubt on Fire Night, 18 March, when for 20 magical minutes the skies above Valencia are lit up in spectacular fashion.
- Floral Offering: on 17 March at 3.30 pm there is a floral offering to the Virgin Mary; on 18 March at 3.30 pm there is a second offering, to the fallas; and on 19 March there is the biggest offering of all, to the Falleras Mayores de Valencia and their Cortes de Honor on San José bridge at 11 am.
- Fire Parade: this parade is the symbol of the arrival of the fire that will burn the fallas. Headed by the Devil’s and Pluto’s floats, it precedes the Cremà. Don’t miss it: on Monday 19 March at 7 pm it will pass down Calle Colón to the Porta de la Mar.
- Bonfire Night: this is the highlight of the Valencia Fallas and brings the festivities to an end. The fallas (undisputable works of art that poke fun at current, and often controversial, issues) are devoured by the flames on the night of 19 March. At 10 pm it’s the turn of the children’s fallas, followed at midnight by the full-size ones. From their ashes are said to rise next year’s fallas…
Noelia - Marketing Team