Fallas Fiesta

 

Fallas Fiesta 

The fallas fiesta of Valencia takes place each year from the 15th to the 19th of March.

The Fallas takes place in March and is intended as a tribute to St. Joseph, patron saint of the carpenters guild, where – it is said – the tradition arose from. The basis of the fiesta, as is well-known, is the “Fallas” monuments. In a display of art, though also of irony and humour, they are exhibited in the streets during Fallas week, between the 15th and 19th of March. On the last day, at midnight, they are set on fire and burn in immense, spectacularly beautiful pyres.

Fallas Fiesta Valencia

Fallas Fiesta Valencia

During the Fallas fiesta days – and even weeks beforehand – the streets are alive with fireworks displays, music bands, artistic lighting, street performances, parades

It is also a fiesta with a complex, well-tuned business and administrative structure: the Junta Central Fallera is its governing body and organizes all official events. Every monument is set up by an association called a “comisión fallera”, managed by its members, the “Falleros”. During each Fallas Year (which officially begins on March 20th and ends the following March 19th), they meet periodically to decide on the fiestas main lines of action.

All kinds of activities take place throughout the whole year: from sporting (Valencian pelota and football championships,…) to cultural events (theatre, poetry or dancing contests…) plus displays of Valencias own folklore, traditions and customs. Many of these activities are organised by the Fallas Committees themselves, complementing the work of the Junta Central Fallera.

The total number of Falleros and Falleras now easily surpasses a hundred thousand people. In fact, though, the whole of Valencia takes part in the Fallas Festival, which has reached a high status in the citys social and cultural life.

The Mascleta – the afternoon firework display in the centre of Valencia – is lit at 2pm on the days of the Fallas Fiesta.

The two “Falleras Mayores de Valencia” (one adult and one child) are the queens of the fiesta, the official representatives of the entire Fallas organisation.

Most Valencian girls, both young and old, aspire to this title. In fact, their election comes after a complex process: in the first “pre-selection” stage, each Fallas Committee presents a candidate and a jury chooses the finalists. These go on to a second stage, where a new jury directly chooses thirteen candidates. A third jury, appointed directly by the Fallas presidents, is responsible for choosing, from these thirteen, Valencias “Fallera Mayor”. The other twelve automatically make up her Court of Honour.

” Falla” is the name given to each one of the gigantic, sculpted structures of cardboard, wood and sometimes cork, which humorously portray the most relevant current events and personalities.

A Fallas monument is, as a whole, a mammoth-sized work. The “artista fallero”, is the person responsible for the project and its execution. Every monument has a subject-matter, or general theme. On that basis, the artist plays with intentions and ideas, using the subject as a pretext to portray what he or she wants to say.

The Fallas monuments are distributed in sections, according to their size and budget (costs can range from € 6,000 to € 600,000). Although the most spectacular are the ones in the Special Section (top category), no Falla is insignificant, however small it may be, because they are all a marvel of creation and, especially, of imagination.

The “Crema” marks the finish of the Fallas Festival. This is when the structures are set alight, with the every accompanying fireworks.

Timetable of Events in Valencia City During Las Fallas

These are just the official scheduled events.

1 March
2pm Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento)

2 March
2pm Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento)
5:30pm. Children’s ninot parade: Glorieta – Calle La Paz – San Vicente – Plaza del Ayuntamiento – Marqués de Sotelo – Calle Jativa.

8 March
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento).
6pm. Mascleta (Las Arenas Beach).
10:30pm. Ninot Parade (Route: Calle Jativa – Marqués de Sotelo – Maria Cristina – Plaza del Ayuntamiento – Marques de Sotelo – Jativa).Firework display.

11 March
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento).

12 March
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento).

13 March
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento).

14 March
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento).
6pm. Closing ceremony of the Ninot Infantil Exhibition.

15 March
8am. Setting up (la Planta) of all the children’s fallas
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento)
6pm. Closing ceremony of the Ninot Exhibition
12pm. Setting up (la Planta) of all the Fallas
1:30am. Firework display (Paseo de la Alameda)

16 March
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento)
4:30pm. Children’s Fallas Award Ceremony
10:30pm. Cabalgata Folklórica (procession with examples of regional festivals)
1:30am. Firework display (Paseo de la Alameda)

17 March
9:30am. Fallas Award Ceremony
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento)
16:00pm. Floral offering to Virgen de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken)
1:30am. Firework display (Paseo de la Alameda)

18 March
11am. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento). Tribute to the poet Maximiliano Thous (Calle Sagunto)
12pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento). Tribute to Maestro Serrano (Avenida Reino de Valencia)
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento)
16pm. Floral offering to Virgen de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken)
2:00am. Firework display (Paseo de la Alameda)

19 March
11am. Floral offering to St. Joseph (St. Joseph Bridge)
12pm. Solemn Mass to honour St Joseph the Patriarch (The Cathedral)
2pm. Mascleta (Plaza del Ayuntamiento)
19pm. Procession of Fire (from Calle Ruzafa, Calle Colon, to end in Porta de la Mar)
22pm. Crema (Burning) of the children’s Fallas
22:30pm. Crema (Burning) of the children’s Falla awarded first prize in the Special Section
23pm. Crema (Burning) of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento children’s Falla
00am. Crema (Burning) of all the Falla of Valencia
00:30am. Crema (Burning) of the Falla awarded first prize in the Special Section
1am. Firework display (Plaza del Ayuntamiento)

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