“Las Fallas is undoubtedly one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain.”
What started as a feast day for St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, has evolved into 5 days. Valencia, a quiet city with a population of just over 1 million, swells to an estimated three million flame-loving revelers during Las Fallas celebrations. Las Fallas literally means “the fires” in Valencian.
The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”), which are huge cardboard, wood, and plaster statues. The ninots are extremely lifelike and usually depict bawdy, satirical scenes and current events. Many ninots are several stories tall and need to be moved into their final location of over 350 key intersections and parks around the city with the aid of cranes on the day of la plantà (the rising). The ninots remain in place until March 19, the day is known as La Cremá (the burning). Besides the burning of the ninots, there is a myriad of other activities during the fiesta. During the day, you can enjoy an extensive roster of parades, paella contests and beauty pageants around the city. Spontaneous fireworks displays explode everywhere during the days leading up to La Crema, but the highlight is the daily mascletá which occurs in the Plaza Ayuntamiento.