Valencia’s Famous Cultural Festival: Las Fallas

Valencia has the reputation of being a city full of life, young energy, vibrant culture, and events that always leave visitors with the desire to return. If you like music, you’ll find concerts and shows ranging from rock to jazz to classical music. For artists, there are classic and modern art galleries throughout the city. Theatres, museums, bars…these are the key elements of the city that bring more and more visitors each year. One undeniable fact is that tourism in Valencia keeps booming, in large part due to the famous local festival: Las Fallas. This festival is celebrated each year from March 15-19, attracting locals and tourists who gather to enjoy the festivities all the way through to the 19th, when the festival culminates with setting fire to grand papier mâché paper street monuments, known as la crema. The main draw of this festival, apart from being a 100+ year old tradition, is surely all the fire, the mascletas, the fireworks castles, and the involvement of the entire city. You’re not going to miss it are you?

History of the Las Fallas Festival

The origin of this festival dates back to the ancient tradition of city carpenters, who on the eve of the feast of their patron San José, burned unusable items in front of their workshops and in the streets and public squares to illuminate the streets while they worked in the winter months. For this reason, the day of La Crema – when they set fire to the street monuments – always falls on March 19th, to coincide with the day of San José.  The celebration has evolved over the years, becoming more ironic and cynical in part to reflect the social realities of today. Now, the festival is known for incredible creativity and art of the street monuments that are burned each year. It was in the year 1932 when the celebration became written in the law and transformed into the region’s most important festival. Presently, over 700 street monuments, both large and small, are burned in the city of Valencia alone during the festival.

Reasons to Visit Valencia during Las Fallas

Here, we present to you a list of why you should visit Valencia during its famed festival at least once in your life. From the first day of March until the 19th, you’ll be able to enjoy true sound spectacle with the Mascleta from the City Hall square, when Valencians set off hundreds of firecrackers, reaching up to 120 decibels! On the 15th, La Planta is celebrated as another key part of the festival. This is a day full of activity: the falleros work day and night making sure that the firework installations planted throughout the city are finished for the early hours of the 16th. On this day, a jury selects the best ones as well as the “ninot indultat” – the only one that will be saved from burning during la crema, on the 19th. On the morning of the 17th, the creators of the best firework displays gather in the City Hall square to collect their prizes. Later, in the early morning on the 18th, the Valencian sky fills with light and colour thanks to hundreds of fireworks, set off as a unique and spectacular display known as ‘Nit del Foc’. Lastly, as a grand finale to the festival, comes the day of la crema on the 19th of March. Follow the route of la crema like a true Valencian: beginning at 10 o’clock at night, they start by burning the children’s monuments, and towards the middle of the night, they burn the larger ones, leaving the first-place monument for burning just after midnight. To close the festival, the last monument to burn is located in the City Hall square at 1 o’clock in the morning.

Guide for Organising your School Trip to Valencia

Learn more about Valencia and organising your educational school trip with the rest of our guide: activities, accommodation, prominent monuments, etc.:

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