The transition from winter to spring is a special time in Europe. Many countries have different ways of celebrating, and Spain is no exception. Las Fallas Festival in Valencia is certainly one of the warmest and loudest farewells to the long nights of winter!
History of Las Fallas Festival
During the winter, carpenters in the region hung planks of wood to hold their candles. Around March 19, they would burn those planks and other scrap wood not only to celebrate the end of winter, but also to honor San José, the patron saint of carpenters.
At some point, they started adding clothing to the wood to give the structures a bit of personality. And that eventually evolved into what we know today as the ninots! The ninots are elaborate figures made from a combination of wood, polystyrene, cloth, or papier-mâché.
They often create large, fantastical scenes, sometimes mimicking known pop culture figures, while others build new, imaginative characters. They go on display for the festival, and then they all burn at midnight on the last evening.
All except one. The people vote for their favorite, and the winner will be saved and kept at the Museo Fallero. Visit the museum to see how the art form has evolved over the years! It’s also a fun insight into popular Valencian humor and opinion over the years.
How to Enjoy the Festival
Las Fallas Festival is more than just burning stacks of wood. You’ll see fireworks, street parties, parades, food trucks, and more!
Spend the day walking around the stalls and enjoying the ninots before they all burn. And in the evening, watch the fireworks and bonfires from the comfort of your balcony, or walk through the streets and be part of the action!
But if you don’t like loud noises, crowds, or smoke, we highly recommend you don’t visit Valencia in March. The festivities take over the entire city, and you won’t be able to avoid it.
Celebrate with Fire!
For a warm celebration of the end of winter, Las Fallas Festival is the place to be. If you have the opportunity to visit Valencia, do it!
Have you been to Valencia? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments!