Firecrackers and Giant Monuments for Valencia’s Las Fallas Festival
Each year, the city of Valencia, Spain, celebrates the beginning of spring with one of its biggest festivals: Las Fallas. Throughout March every day at 2:00PM the mascletà takes place where firecrackers are set off in Plaça de l’Ajuntament. Tapas, drinks and fiestas throughout the city follow into the evening.
The Las Fallas festival originated as the burning of parots—overhanging structures used to give light that were no longer needed as the days grew longer in springtime. The festival is also tied to the Patron Saint of carpenters, Saint Joseph and many people would burn old furniture in the street. Nowadays, neighborhoods decorate their streets with lights and create their fallas—giant handmade polystyrene figures from popular culture that are paraded on floats down the city’s streets from March 15-19. Often grotesque and satirical, these artistic monuments take months to create and later become huge bonfires across the city. Awards are presented for the best falla, as well as for the best street lights, and the festival culminates in an impressive firework display called Nit del Foc, or “Night of Fire,” that attracts visiting and local Instagrammers alike.
"The spring light changes every single corner of the city. These are the days to walk the streets, to go out and see the monuments, the light decorations, days to hang out with friends, to go to the mascletà everyday in the city center, to watch the fireworks at night by the river Turia at Paseo de la Alameda,” says Valencia Instagrammer Jose (@ayjoselitoo).
"Thousands of tourists visit Valencia in these magical days. Valencia welcomes spring and every single tourist and local with its shiny sun, its lovely blue sky and the smell of azahar flowers (orange blossoms) in the streets.”