One of Valencia’s most special events is taking place at the moment, Las Fallas. This special holiday celebrates the Patron Saint of carpentry, San José. It comes from the carpenters’ tradition to commemorate the arrival of spring by burning the wooden pieces that they used during the winter months to support lights. Nowadays they don’t burn the winterwood anymore; instead, every falla has its own artwork that has been created by a professional artist. This artwork will be shown for some time on the street, before burning it down on March 19. Besides the tradition of La Cremà (the burning of the artworks), Las Fallas knows many more traditions that you cannot miss out on. We are happy to provide you with our top 5 of unmissable Valencian traditions during Las Fallas:
1. Eat churros con chocolate or a pumpkin buñuelo. Both sweets are made of dough that gets deep-fried and are mostly accompanied by a cup of melted chocolate to dip it in. It won’t be hard to find a place to eat this delicatesse because the whole city is full with the churro street stands during Las Fallas!
2. Walk around Ruzafa to admire the huge artworks on the street. Most ninots (the individual characters of each artwork) are caricatures that represent satires of current themes in society.
3. Witness Valencia ‘s biggest firework show at Plaza del Ayuntamiento, la Mascletà. Everyday from the 1st of March till the last day of Fallas at 14:00, you will find the 10-minute long deafening firework spectacle in front of the town hall.
4.Get amazed during La Ofrenda, Valencia’s flower offering. On this day all falla groups meet at their headquarters from where they will parade through the city (in traditional costumes and accompanied by authentic Valencian music). When arrived at Plaza de la Virgen every group offers flower bouquets to la Virgen de los Desamparados. Later, these bouquets are collected and placed on a wooden structure. Finally, this results in a 14-meter high Virgin with the most beautiful flower dress.
5. Last but not least of course is La Cremà! This spectacular event is one not to be missed. While people from all over gather in the city, every Falla artwork gets lightened up on fire. This event takes place on the night of March 19.
Can’t make it to Las Fallas? No worries! Every year one Ninot gets spared and won’t be burnt. You can find it afterwards at Museo Fallero.
“The paths of modernity in the Fallas” – an exposition by Ricardo Ruiz and Daniel Escobedo from 2/3 until 23/4 at the IVAM museum