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Spain's Top 10

Simple...a series of lists rating Spain's top 10 in anything and everything...they may be lists compiled by independent reviewers or by myself....whichever, I hope you find them useful :-)

Top 10 things you need to know about Fallas
27 February 2018 @ 18:35

The month of Fallas has just begun! They call it the festival of fire, but Fallas is much more than just fire. Before the night when everything burns -la Nit de la Cremà (Night of the Cremà)- the city experiences an authentic street spectacle for ten days unlike many others celebrated in Spain. With it, they achieve something very difficult: visitors feel as if the celebration belongs to them as well. Colossal satirical figures, firecrackers that make the ground shake, fireworks that light up the darkest sky, troupes that bring the street to life from daybreak, and of course, fire, lots of fire. If you want to live Fallas in person, there are ten important things that you should keep in mind.


1. The origin of the festival

There are many theories and none of them 100 % provable. The most common theory is that the origin is in the city's carpenters' guild: that on the eve of the patron saint's day on March 19th, they burned outside their workshops the "parot," the post that supported the oil lamp for working at night. They added a lot of scraps to this "parot" and from this came the modern Fallas festival. What's undeniable is that it's a historic festival; the first written documentation about Fallas dates back to the 18th century.


2. Its own language

If you don't want to look like a "guiri" (tourist), take a look at the Fallas jargon. Although the festival as a whole is called Fallas the word “falla” actually refers to the monument. The plantà is the act of setting up and raising the falla. The ninot is the human figure of the falla. The cremà is the moment that the fallas are lit. The mascletà is the pyrotechnics spectacle in which hundreds of fireworks are set off, the most deafening of which is the one at the city hall.


3. Comfortable footwear and a fallas map

Each year around 700 fallas are set up in Valencia so if you want to enjoy art and sarcasm that abound, you'll need a fallas map -available in all tourism offices- and some comfortable shoes. As it's almost impossible to see all of them, make sure to plan on seeing at least the most spectacular ones, which are included in the Special Section (presented on March 16). The ones at the City Hall, the Convent and the el Pilar plaza never disappoint. 


4. Not only the fire illuminates

Before the fire illuminates the city on the Nit de la Cremà, Valencia shines at night from the lights that the Fallas committees place in the streets. The installations are so impressive that some streets are reminiscent of the famous Seville Fair. Thousands of colored light bulbs adorn the streets creating authentic spectacles of light. Traditionally it's the Ruzafa neighborhood where we can see the most magnificent lights. 



5. Exhibition of the Ninot

Before the fallas are set up in the street (on 16 March) we can have a taste of these works of art by visiting the Exhibition of the Ninot. It includes a ninot from each Fallas committee, which allows us to get an accurate idea of the quality of the fallas that will be shown that year. Among all the ninots shown, those rated highest will be saved from burning. 


6. The night doesn't sleep

Although going out looking for the best fallas and participating in the many activities organized in the city will leave us exhausted, we have to save some energy for the night because, after the fireworks, music begins to play and doesn't stop until sunrise. In addition to the open air dances that the Fallas committees organize, the City Hall organizes concerts with top groups from the music scene, held in the are around the old Turia riverbed.



7. The despertà

Although little sleep is had during Fallas, the alarm sounds early thanks to the despertàs. This tradition consists of going through the neighborhoods with a music band and firecrackers; nothing special if it weren't for the fact that they do it at 8 in the morning. It's one of the acts that full blooded "falleros" (Fallas festival-goers) like most but that the visitors hate, especially those who go all out at night. Maybe packing some earplugs isn't such a bad idea...


8 .Fire Parade

It's one of the most impressive events of the entire festival, so we should take special note in our plans. It's held on March 19 and is the prelude to the famous Nit del Foc (Night of Fire), when all the fallas burn. It's a parade that combines music with dancers and, evidently, fire, carried by the so-called demons. Only a couple hours afterwards the flames take the city, making ash of the fallas that have decorated the city for days.

9. Floral offering

Between the fire, the music and the pyrotechnics, there is a moment of calm to organize some of the nicest and remarkable moments of the festival, the offering of flowers to the Virgen de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken). This event is spectacular in that hundreds of falleros and falleras carry flowers, wearing the typical clothing and accompanied by musical parades. For almost two days these flowers are placed to cover a replica of the Lady, known as the "Geperudeta," nearly 15 meters tall.


10. Food!

Even if our feet are really suffering from walking and dancing during the festival, some of the most fun we'll have is eating the traditional donuts with hot chocolate and the famous paella, which is always a treat for our palates.


Like 2


Falcón said:
27 February 2018 @ 19:54

LOVE,LOVE,LOVE fallas in Valencia it is the most spectacular tradicion in Spain. This tradicion has light, art, colour, music, noise and love. It is my favourite festivity in the world because how I am valenciana and I love the fallas as good as the most exciting in Mascleta and also this festivity is Patrimonio Nacional de la Humanidad ( Patrimony National of Humanity )
In conclusion Fallas is the best in the world

anthomo16 said:
03 March 2018 @ 09:49

would love to see this

DavidH said:
03 March 2018 @ 11:33

Fallas is one of the most spectacular and memorable things you will ever experience; just do it.
Two things: book your hotel early because they are more expensive than usual and often full: take earplugs because the exploding fireworks are some of the loudest you will ever hear; I still have tinnitus from the 2011 fallas.

Jo said:
03 March 2018 @ 13:02

The Fallas museum in Valencia is well worth a visit. The models & history over the years is unbelievable.

Enna said:
03 March 2018 @ 17:34

Can't wait. Hotel booked, ear plugs packed ,((because tggd ground does move. And your ears tingle for days

I am looking foward to seeing Na Jordana fila and their entrance into the competition. With their Leonardo de Vinci (_costing 45,000 Euros)
In 2012 the paper mache head was absolutely stunning. Supported from above and lights shining it was more than excellent. Standing in anticipation for the mascaletta (fireworks,) the planes and helicopters buzzing above gets you into the mood. I have to say watch your pockets and enjoy.

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