Fallas in Valencia.
1) Noise and lots of it.
The main firework displays are every day at 2pm in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in Valencia. Yes you read that right. 2pm, Spanish midday. Now why would you have fireworks at midday? Simply to make as much noise as possible in an enclosed space. The decibelometer installed specifically for the purpose is what rates the Mascletá. If you don’t like noise don’t go. If you do then get as close as possible to it. You can actually feel the sound travelling through your body.
2) Sleep. None of it
The main days of Fallas are the 15th to the 19th of March and every night the noise gets later culminating in the Nit Del Foc (Night of Fire) on the 18th where the GDP of various small countries is spent on fireworks.
3) Creativity. Lots of it.
The Fallas models are an absolute work of art. The Fallas associations spend all year making them and then, in an orgy of fire, burn them on the night of the 19th of March, mostly dead on midnight. And just as is traditional in Spain the whole family are involved as an hour before the children’s Fallas model is burnt as new generations are introduced into the festival.
4) Tourists. Loads of Them
The Nit del Foc can bring up to a million extra people into Valencia all milling around and looking at the Fallas models before they are so ruelly burnt on the final night. Fallas is not just in one place it is all around the city so wear some good walking shoes and expect crowds. If you don’t like them don’t come.
5) Catholicism. Overt.
One of the main aspects of Fallas are the Fallas processions to deliver the “Ofrenda” of flowers to the Virgin conveniently situated in “La Plaza de la Virgen” by the Cathedral. By the end of the days of processions and offerings the whole square is full of flowers and the pungent aroma is something for your senses to behold.
6) Danger. Oh yes loads.
Fireworks are dangerous things of course and in the UK for example the whole experience of Bonfire Night has been sanitised beyond belief. In the last few years Las Fallas have become safer, the Mascletas in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento are now held inside a 15ft high cage installed after a little accident about five or six years ago and you cannot now watch the nighttime firework from the bridge crossing the riverbed by the launchpad. However if you have never been and you experience la Nit Del Foc for the first time you will find out why Valencia is known as the “Land of the three fingered handshake”
Get here are amaze yourself. Fallas is different.
Oh and loads of Valencians leave because they cannot stand the noise and street closures!
Thanks to Graham Hunt for this article. Graham is an estate agent and internet marketer who lives and works around Valencia. He can be found at his estate agency blog for Valencia Property, Houses for sale in Spain, or on his entrepreneurial blog at Entrepreneur Solo