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Fallas Valencia

Info, photos and videos of this years Fallas festivities in Valencia. Hope you enjoy it and please make an effort to come and see it!

A night out in Fallas
Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 1:49 AM

I’ve seen Fallas so many times but nonetheless it still doesn’t cease to amaze me. Valencia literally transforms from the 15th to the 19th of March, roads are cut off, marquis are set up in the middle of the streets throughout the city and parking is literally impossible. So if you are not a “Fallero” and don’t really take part in the festival in a proactive way it can become extremely frustrating at times. However if you are a tourist and visiting, it is an absolutely wonderful experience. I like to enjoy Fallas in small doses, one day I’ll go to a mascletá in the centre, another day I’ll visit the street lights and normally on the “Nit de Foc” (The Night of Fire) which is the main fireworks display of the festival, I’ll pop down to Valencia with the family and take some time to visit some of the monuments before the big show at 1:30 in the morning. Other than these occasions, I try to avoid going into Valencia at all costs, as the traffic and the crowds drives me up the wall. There is a big difference between being Fallero and part of a Falla, and not.

The Falleros are constantly having meals in the evening, waking everyone up with firecrackers at 8 in the morning with the "despertá", having slept maybe half an hour and they are simply eating and drinking non-stop for a week, so you need to be in shape to keep up with the rhythm or you will be quickly left behind. I tried it for a couple of years but to be honest it was just too much, not sure if it’s the age or lack of practise!

It is very much a “tradition” that the Valencians carry in their blood they don't just enjoy Fallas, they really feel it, effortlessly they conjue up the same sort of energy you might find to get you through New Years Eve and last to the early hours of the morning, only they manage to find enough energy and motivation to carry on for 5 days and 5 nights. Even the kids don’t get tired, blowing up firecrackers all day and all night, at times it seems like a war zone with explosions left right and centre. This is another reason why we don’t tend to go down to the centre too often, because to be honest as much as tradition dictates, copious amounts of alcohol and gunpowder aren’t a great cocktail and is often a recipe for disaster, especially in the early hours of the morning.

In fact, this year we had a near miss. While we were waiting for the fireworks display to start near the river, along with another 100,000 people at least, some idiot on the fourth floor of an apartment above the crowd decided it would be funny to set of a rocket amongst the people below. As I looked up a group of drunk youngsters were shouting and laughing and seemed to be having a great time until suddenly an object blazed towards us from above, leaving a trail of fire behind it. Everyone started to scream and fortunately it hit the ground directly and ricocheted off between the people just a few metres from us. Amazingly no one was hurt nor did it crash into any of the many prams around us. Unfortunately this is all part and parcel of the celebration, and there are idiots everywhere, so when you do go out at night in Fallas, you need to keep your wits about you!

But don’t let this scare you off, Fallas is a very unique event and can be very entertaining and if you are looking for things to do there is no shortage; visiting the sculptures and monuments, visiting street lights, admiring the flower procession to the Virgin Mary, fireworks galore, street parties, free concerts in the parks, synchronised firecracker displays that make the ground tremble and the windows rattle, street bands, bullfights, night time markets and a lot more.  So Valencia is really a fantastic tourist destination this time of year, unlike anything in the world.

 Having been here a long time now, this year we decided to take it easy and go for a long walk around Valencia and visit some Fallas and enjoy some more chocolate and buñuelos. So we headed down to the centre and began our odyssey to find a parking spot. Eventually after a ridiculous amount of time we finally found one! We walked and walked and walked and
 then walked some more. My feet were killing me but I must admit we saw some wonderful Fallas as we went around the area of Ruzafa, as well as the prize-winning streetlights. This is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Fallas as it is so varied and so much on offer. We saw the fantastic music and light show in the Calle Cuba, a synchronised work of art. From there we continued to the Calle Sueca and wondered through the artisan street market where one
 could find anything from homemade sweets to personalised jewellery,

as we fought our way through the crowds we eventually reached our friends Falla where we were going to help out with the Paella this year, if you have read my article on Paella you might remember who I'm talking about, the one that was banned for always winning the yearly competition! This year we weren't competing but just having some fun. The paella was soon made, which was absolutely fantastic, by the way, and it is so much more fun when you are cooking over a log fire. The best wood for this is orange tree wood, which is very dense and burns slowly.



The paella was served; we ate and went on our way to see a few more monuments before the fireworks display.  I managed to record the last eight minutes of the 20-minute show to give you an idea of just how amazing it was, especially the last 60 seconds, which was the Grand Finale and also the end of out night out. We managed to sneak in another round of chocolate and churros on the 3 km walk back to the car with sufficient sugar to boost anyone back into action, well just about anyone. We were dead and headed straight for bed!

Hope you enjoy the photos and my video! 



Like 0


Sam said:
Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 7:26 AM

Thank you for sharing more great photos and the video. The Spanish really know how to party, always amaze me with their stamina. Like you I can't keep up. Sam

Angie said:
Saturday, March 23, 2013 @ 11:56 AM

Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and experiences of Las Fallas, my son was living in Valencia last year and was there during the 2012 Fallas, he said the noise was incredible from morning til night, you couldn´t get away from it. Your idea of "dipping in and dipping out" is definitely the way to do it. The Valencianos are certainly made of stern stuff to enjoy/endure this year after year!!!
Must try it myself one day....

Val White said:
Saturday, March 23, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

Fantastic photos and what a brilliant video of the firework display. I thoroughly enjoyed it. My son was also there last year and saw the Fallas display. Must go there again one day, in time for the Fallas celebrations.

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